The Florence Biennale will be present at World Art Dubai (WAD) from 9 to 12 March 2023 in stand Z08, with works by the artists Flora Borsi, Patrizia Casagranda, Pasquale Celona, Serge Gauya, Anna Hopfensberger and Carlo Zoli.
Winner of the International Open Call Competition
organized in collaboration with Art Market Magazine and Lens Magazine
on the occasion of the XIII Florence Biennale 2021
Flora is a fine art photographer. She uses exquisite photo manipulation to create surreal images that are thematically focused on identity, relationships, emotions and dreams. Her immaculate technique and subtle conceptual ideas create beautiful evocations of universal emotions, from lust and desire to despair and loss. Flora at once captures the complex strength and fragility of the human psyche. She expertly visualises dark fantasies and atmospheric dreams, utilising the uncanny and clever metaphor, while unlocking what it means to think, feel, dream and express in the urban world.
Her work often features the female body and she plays with hiding and revealing the eyes or face to leave only the feminine form, exploring questions of female representation and the relationship between body and self.
Flora has exhibited internationally with solo exhibitions in Europe and the USA, and has a solo show at Lanoue Gallery, Boston. She has also exhibited at the Louvre, France. Her artwork was the face of Adobe Photoshop in 2014 and she has made the corporate identity for Adobe's Creative Cloud in 2019. Her ethereal aesthetic has won multiple art prizes and garnered critical acclaim from press including The Guardian’s Observer and BBC Culture. She got into US Forbes 30 under 30 list and in 2021 Hasselblad chose her as the first Hasselblad Heroine of the year.
Winner of the “Lorenzo il Magnifico” Award, 1° Prize, for Mixed Media and of the
Excellence in art Award (WAVA) at the XIII Florence Biennale 2021
Patrizia Casagranda has only been working as a freelance artist since 2016. Since then, her work has been accompanied by great success. Previously, she had completed her design studies, focusing on illustration, with distinction in 2002 and subsequently worked as a graphic designer for Günther Uecker and Markus Lüpertz, among others. Words, typography in general, structure and colourfulness, but also working in concepts play a significant role in her artworks, a fact she herself attributes to her first profession as a designer: "The fact that I enjoy typography can be seen above all in the backgrounds of my works."
Whereas Patrizia Casagranda initially worked with acrylic and made collages, in the meantime, the multi-layered grid through which she presses the motif in different colours utilising a coarse-meshed screen has become her distinctive feature. In the process, Casagranda makes use of the artistic range that graffiti has to offer. Stencils, grids, sprayed and painted areas are found next to and on top of each other, also in combination with type fragments that she takes from different contexts.
Her compositions have a fascinating depth effect. When they are observed from close up, the effect can be compared to the works of the Pointillists: the motif looks like an abstract painting consisting of grid points, whose pictorial content is only revealed at a distance. The bas-relief, created by the multiple application of paint, recedes into the background favouring the motif, whereas it dominates when viewed up close. The secret of the luminosity of the artist's works lies in the pigments she uses.
President and Founder of the Florence Biennale
With a scientific studies background and a flair for painting, in 1975 Pasquale Celona debuted at the IInd Rassegna Internazionale di Pittura in Milan, Castello Sforzesco.
In the following decades he took part in various International exhibitions and presented his works in solo shows. For the artist, the 1990s were years of intense creative production, which would enjoy great success in 1996, when he reached a wide audience of collectors and art lovers through the presentation of his works and monograph by Paolo Levi in a television programme.
Aside from carrying out his own artistic research, Pasquale Celona committed himself to organising the Salone Italiano dell’Arte Contemporanea. In 1997, with his brother Piero, he founded the International Contemporary Art Biennial of Florence, or Florence Biennale, of which he is the president.
In 2006 the Museu de Arte do Parlamento de São Paulo (Brazil) acquired a Still Life by Pasquale Celona after a resolution passed by the Ministerio da Cultura do Estado de São Paulo upon Emanuel von Lauestein Massarani’s initiative, approved by the Assembleia Legislativa do Estado de São Paulo. In 2017 he represented Italy in the ‘G7 of Art’ collective exhibition held in the basement of the Basilica of Santa Croce, Florence, in concomitance with the first ‘G7 of Culture’, which was held in that city.In 2018 his works have been displayed in the solo exhibition ‘The Light Beyond’, curated by Maurizio Vanni, at the Lucca Contemporary Art Center.
Pasquale Celona lives and works between Calabria and Tuscany, and is currently preparing new exhibition projects.
Participating artist of the XI Florence Biennale 2017
Serge Gauya, real name Serge Gauye, was born in Sion in Switzerland in 1977. From an early age, Serge was attracted to music and painting. He studied music theory and piano at a conservatory, as well as drawing and painting courses at a school in his hometown.
His musical career began in 1992 at the age of 15 when he released his first single "Much Money" in Paris. In 1996, Serge created his own music publishing, production and events company, alongside his studies of natural medicine in Geneva then in Paris. At the end of the 90s Serge worked on several releases. Serge has won two awards in the United States for his music. In 2008 he received the "Premio Estrella Music Awards" in Miami and in 2014 the "Fox Music USA Latin Awards" in Houston.
His artistic influences have been enriched by his experiences as well as by the many trips that he makes around the world for tours and event organization, during which he is impressed with colours, sounds and atmospheres. Throughout his musical career Serge has always felt the need to paint and draw, but this passion really took hold in 2012 when he met the Egyptian-Swiss art dealer Mahmoud Abou El Ainin, who discovered his work and pushed him to also focus on painting. Since then, Serge has lead these two complementary careers in parallel, and brings them together during certain exhibitions.
Serge's work is exhibited in several galleries and museums around the world and some of his paintings have been exhibited in several contemporary art exhibitions.
Participating artist of the XII Florence Biennale 2019,
XIII Florence Biennale 2021, and XIV Florence Biennale 2023
Anna Hopfensberger creates profound levels in her painting. With hidden wit and humor, she fans out social and psychological facets from the life of each individual. By limiting herself to 2-4 colors, Hopfensberger creates a subtle tension between alienation and familiarity. She creates scenes that stimulate fantasies as an open narrative. The characters of the women appear provocative, strong and at the same time vulnerable. Associations are awakened in the viewer, which are remembered and touch on the profound levels of the human psyche. You can get involved, find it exciting to explore these levels within yourself. Just as the artist has a strong emphasis on colour, the fashion world is a source of inspiration for her. Hopfensberger says that for her, art and fashion are inextricably linked.
She finds her motifs on the Internet, using photos by famous photographers such as Helmut Newton as templates. They come alive in her paintings. They tell a short story of the moment. Regardless of whether it is a touch of eroticism, sadness or bold impudence, the depiction is mostly ambiguous - this is what characterizes her work.
Anna Hopfensberger lives and works in Munich. She completed her studies at the Free Academy for Fine Arts, Kolbermoor. In her paintings she uses oil paints and oil pencils on canvas and continuously develops her very own painting style. With her works she joins the figurative realism and expressionism.
Participating artist of the XIV Florence Biennale 2023
The fourth descendant of a family of ceramic artists, Carlo Zoli was born in Bari in 1959. He lives and works in Faenza. Zoli has always been inspired by and questions the myth seeking an answer to the concerns of the present. He bases his research on the archetypes of the eternal conflict between spirit and matter, reason and instinct, conscious and unconscious, trying to find a synthesis and balance however unstable and precarious.
The artist returns to us myth by myth, character by character, drawing from the origins of our civilization, from the words of Homer, Hesiod, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Lucretius, Virgil. But not only that, he also draws from the works of Ariosto and Cervantes, from the Apocalypse of John, from sacred texts, from Nordic legends and from all the fantastic world of fairy-tale imagination. Reconciling these issues with today's reality is not easy, but Zoli is able to tackle them with creative originality, a good dose of irony, a sense of "game" and the unpredictable.
The primary and constant source of inspiration is the horse, an archetype inscribed in the collective memory, whose symbolism is present in every historical, cultural and artistic period.
Zoli tackles the theme with his vibrant sculptural practice, despite the essentiality of the features. In the footsteps of great sculptors such as Moore, Martini, Marini, he creates a progression of shapes and volumes that attack the space with an extraordinary "elan vital". The horse is also functional to experience the dialectic of solids and voids, to explore the "nocturnal" and the "solar" side of matter. The same dichotomy that pervades existence, always alternating between "storm" and "quiet".
Starting with horses, the representative universe of Carlo Zoli thus comes alive with warriors, dragons, amazons, valkyries, unicorns, sylphs, archangels. On the one hand the action and the battle on the other beauty, love, motherhood.