CRITICAL TEXTS

Francesco Zavatta - Artist, Painter Milan

Francesco Zavatta is clearly from Rimini because everyone in Rimini has their eyes focused on the rising sun's horizon and they see this early morning mist as a sort of dawn in the life they lead. He managed to put Milan’s Cathedral amid the rising mists of the Adriatic Riviera.

Philippe Daverio


“Everything begins with paint dripping; it flows as if from a spring or a wound.”

Not the surface of things but what supports them, that music, that light, that foundation that our senses, our minds and our hearts perceive as the question and the presence of good, beautiful and real which is so great that it cannot be grasped.

And then the encounters that enrich him, make him grow as a man and as an artist; encounters with the designer Erasmo Figini, the sculptor Adriano Bimbi and an interesting, excellent painter like Giovanni Frangi.

Zavatta is not a loner; he loves conversing and nurturing exchange with people, young and old. He loves taking art into schools, from immersing nursery school children into colours to considering the meaning of art with middle school children.
There's something in Zavatta's eyes that moves us. It's the look of a boy and he's not at all embarrassed about it; it's a look that takes nothing at all for granted. In his art we can see first-hand what Stanislas Fumet said: «Beauty is the good which is given for show in order make 'being' loved».
For art to be great I don't think it should be complicated, rather it can be perfectly simple and basic. One of his traits is precisely this - simplicity and what strikes me most is the way he looks at things.

True art is the ability to provide horizons, that is, provide reason for contemplation that manages to go far beyond.

Giovanni Gazzaneo


The first time I saw Francesco Zavatta’s painting was one year ago, during the vernissage of the exhibition Squarci, In Milan.

Francesco's paintings evoke a feeling of nostalgia in me. The light that I see in them reminds me of my Milanese days, especially in autumn or approaching winter, when you can hardly see the sun during the day, only at sunset when it lights up the horizon. It's the sun of nostalgia. In Francesco Zavatta's paintings I feel great energy, a great desire to "do". I imagine that it isn't something that comes from a slow thought process but rather from something very strong and precise that comes from deep within, which is born long before the work itself.

I was lucky enough to know and always attend many artists: Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat; I'm surrounded by creative people because I think that they can nourish the world with their visions. When I met Francesco, I met a person endowed with great humility like all great artists that pursue a dream and who also fervently believe in what they are doing. For things to be successful you have to love them, feel them and you feel this immediately with Francesco.

I believe that an artist fervently desires that his work may be understood, that his language may be understood. And in this case it seems to me that we are very much on the right path. When I look at his paintings it is as if I were looking at images that project memories from my life, and there is a wonderful bond between my memories and what he sees.

This communion is what moves whoever looks at his paintings.

Elio Fiorucci


Reality reveals itself remaining a mystery; borders of things take their shape and then they dissolve; colours, lines and segments create such an intense and full of affection atmosphere that almost without noticing it you find yourself in the Duomo square, you are immediately in a place and in a time that your heart recognises. A strange synchronization happens and allows you to enter and grasp memories and feelings as you were actually there. You can breathe Milan.

The tram wires are like big and little windows between the sky and the earth. They allow you to see behind appearances and to sink into a new dimension out of time and space, in which everything comes to life and regenerates itself. Looking at those pictures, one by one, going inside them, allowing everything they mean to touch me and allowing what Francesco wanted to communicate to strike me, the words of Christian Bobin about Saint Therese of Avila, came to my mind:

quando Teresa preparava da mangiare alle sue consorelle, era intenta alla buona cottura di un piatto e nello stesso tempo concepiva splendidi pensieri in Dio, esercitava quell’arte del vivere che è l’arte più grande: gioire dell’eterno prendendosi cura dell’effimero.

Well, I believe that the secret of this painting, which is tied to the truth of what it sees, getting the essence of it, lies in this deep and intense dialogue that continuously asserts the presence of a meaning. A good presence that gives depth and consistency to everything that exists.

Susanna Pagani

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