Francesca Acacia Aims to Energize You Through Art
“Art is a litmus test for the quality of the culture.”
Francesca Acacia is a New York based artist. At first glance, her work may appear chaotic, but another look reveals a logic to it based on science, philosophy, or psychedelics, depending on who’s viewing it. Acacia’s work is rewarding in the way that thoughtful work tends to be; it’s fun to view at face value, but there’s space to explore if you wish to dig deeper. In this interview The 7th Magazine’s Blog, Luxury Chapters, talks to Acacia about concepts, influences, and energy.
- You received a degree in Philosophy from Columbia University, and you’ve said that your art is influenced by philosophical texts, such as ‘The Phenomenology of Perception’ by Maurice Merleau-Ponty. How does your art convey the message of the philosophical texts that influence you?
Merleau-Ponty talks about how, over time, an artist’s style develops that is the internal logic of each of their paintings. Each of my paintings has a sort of logic to it, based on how I have places the pattern and the image. He also speaks about gestalt psychology and the way that people really experience the world, that is, they first take in the “gestalt” or the whole of what’s coming into their visual field, then they localize objects within that field. My painting gestalt is trying to convey this principle of perception, but others are conveying this principle by combining backgrounds and images that have a strong relationship and are influenced by each other.
- Is it necessary for the viewer to know the inspiration behind your art, or do you hope to communicate your intended message through visuals alone?
I just want people to enjoy the art. The inspiration behind the art or the philosophy behind the art might appeal to different people. I just want to people to be able to connect with the art on a lot of different levels.
- You’ve stated that you don’t have an education if Fine Arts, and you didn’t begin making art works until 2016. What drew you to start creating art?
I had a mystical experience where I could see a deeper level of aesthetic reality. I could see that everything was a self contained aesthetic universe that forms a work around itself. This is what I try to convey in my paintings.
- Expanding on the previous question, how did you go about teaching yourself artistic techniques?
I find images that I like and I combine them using a projector. I was in oil painting classes as a child so I have a sense of how to use and layer color.
- It’s not long ago that you began making art, but you’ve developed a clear personal style. What was the process of developing an aesthetic that is unique to you?
The first thing that really inspired me was renaissance lithography. After that I tried to find other patterns created throughout history. I liked to combine patterns with digital images as a way of combining to big developments in art history (lithographic patterns and geometric shapes from Math Lab).
- During the week you work as a Capital Investment Executive. How do you find the energy and motivation to focus on art after working for most of the day?
I have energy for art and I have energy for work. They come from totally different sources, but I am lucky that I live in a place like New York that supports all of my activities. I work in art after work and on the weekends, usually about 30 hours a week.
- If there is one thing you hope for people to gain from viewing your work, what would it be?
Art is a litmus test for the quality of the culture. It’s a sign that the culture is healthy. I hope that people gain health and a sense of vitality from my work. I want it to make them feel energized.