Creature Features – Franco Fasoli aka JAZ

Here at VNA we are always receiving updates on artists as they send in the results of their exciting adventures, new walls and experiments. Argentinian artist Franco Fasoli aka JAZ is one such artist who has been busily keeping us refreshed on his escapades around the world from Mexico to the Caribbean and Americas. Both prolific and diverse as an artist, we finally caught up with him to chat about the hidden depths to his work.

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At first glance it is easy to appreciate merely the aesthetic qualities of Fasoli’s work however when looking a little deeper it is the hidden symbolism which holds the real punch in every piece. JAZ himself not only recognises but celebrates this; “The symbolism is as important as the materials and the context in my work, they are very connected to the place. I like introduce popular symbols and rituals especially in Latin American culture, and re-create new myths with those elements.”

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However he admits he often appears at a location with one idea and will be completely overtaken by another which is more relevant to the local culture. “When I know a bit about the local culture and local traditions or some local issue that is happening I choose that instead during the time I am working in the place. The connection with the local people is fundamental and is one thing that I really enjoy of being an urban artist, to travel and know the places in a very different perspective.”

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Although almost always commenting on issues of the human world, rarely in Franco’s work do actual human faces appear. Instead Fasoli opts to express these human vices through animalistic features, normally including displays of violence or combat. “I started using the animal representations of the violence because violence represented in the public space is always a very careful issue. So I use the animals as a metaphor of the human violence condition some times, and with the time the animal figures became an important part of my work and also reminded me of old times in my childhood.” As well as using beasts to express humanity, JAZ also uses symmetry and mirror effect alongside twisted chimeras of gangling additional body parts to create tension and self-reflection.

unnamed3As a jack of many trades, a graffiti writer with a classical background in ceramics, sculpture and fine art and past as a Scenographer, creating the background spreads for theatrical scenery. Such work was designed to be expressive and rough up close yet form a crisp hard image from further afield and lends explanation to his expressionist style of wide brush strokes. Recently however he has begun to experiment with a new technique of paper cutting such as in his fresh mural in the Dominican Republic. “A collage of different traditional hood games and words in this area where the wall was created, domino and baseball are a light-hearted part of the day by day confrontation.”

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So now as he moves into the future Fasoli hopes to continue his inspiring journey through different cultures, materials, metaphors and experiments. When asked what he hoped to gain from the future, his answer was simple yet admirable; “To get in contact with more cultures, and be inspired by them.”

Franco Fasoli – JAZ