Franca Casagli: A painting in a scarf

Prestige issue 256, November 2014

It was a chance meeting. Painter Franca Casagli was seating in her pavilion surrounded by her dancing hand painted silk scarves at the milanese fair WHITE: a unique and poetic vision. Prestige talked to this award-winning Italian painter who expresses herself through her «foulard d’auteur».

Franca Casagli


Franca Casagli surrounded by her paintings and scarves.

You started painting as a passion, but it quickly turned into a true profession that allows you to travel the world with your scarves on which you reproduce, by hand, your own paintings. How the art of painting is combined with the foulard production? My art is born from a deep passion of oil painting, the one of Impressionism which I’m mainly linked to due to territorial reasons and for personal inspiration. I love to represent the reality of the place and the nature in which I was born and grew up: Fellini’s Rimini city, warm and picturesque precisely painted with the Impressionist style, my own fresh and lively interpretation that is increasingly successful with the public. My paintings are so imbued with emotions that are inconstant at times. I wanted them to be known and shared as much as possible, even wearing them. So about 10 years later after I started painting, I had the idea to stamp my paintings on silk foulards, so that those emotions could be accessible to much more people.

So you use your paintings as prints on scarves. How do you define your art in the age of Digital Graphics and Textile Designer? In this technological era, I am perhaps one of the few remaining craftsmen in Italy who still use their hands to make their own creations. I am very proud of this, because it gives me great joy to see how the emotions and feelings can be fixed on the canvas with each brush stroke and then be reproduced on the fabric thanks to the technological process. This is how I use technology, but the art, I believe should be done by hand. The industrial mass production is another thing and is not part of my identity. So I leave you to the definitions, I feel a designer in the traditional sense of the term, a homo-faber («Man the Creator» in latin) who creates and works by hand.

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Your inspiration is your everyday life, your environment, ballet dancers, gardens, classical musical instruments… How do you reconcile that with your private life, and managing your family? I often portray in my paintings members of my family or figures I see in my everyday life and that inspire me daily and transmit me a sense of the sublime beauty of things: dancers in their tutus, plants and flowers that I have in the garden, and much more! I believe that nothing happens by chance, my family has always supported me with enthusiasm since the beginning, 14 years ago. Certainly the life of a working mom is more complicated, but I can do everything because I really like what I do. I had a different job before my passion became a full-time job, and I recently also have an online sales channel on the site so I can be totally independent and keep on both: my life as a mom and my life as an artist.
Conducted by MARY DELL’EDERA

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