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'IN THE FIELDS' - Acrylic and Plaster on Fleece

Sale price$2,647.54 USD
Artist: Franz Petto
Dimension: 47.2'' x 39.4''
Certification of Authenticity: Apricus Art Collection
Signature: Signed by Artist



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Franz PETTO was born in Vienna in 1958. He is a trained engineer and worked in the printing industry. Internationally known as an artist, he became in his later years. Although largely self-taught, he always sought advice from fellow artists. One of his teachers was Emilio VEDOVA, a famous Italian artist from the Informel movement.

However, his parents descend from Serbia and Hungary. They arrived in Vienna as refugees after World War II. At just nine, his father got imprisoned in Gakowa, Serbia, in one of those notorious camps where thousands of people died during Tito's communist dictatorship.

What effect do such extreme experiences have? Is a sane life even possible after that? What psychological consequences remain if you are one of the "lucky" survivors? How is such a trauma passed on to the next generation? What are the mechanisms that can help you get rid of terrible images? These are the questions he has dealt with in his work. And especially important in times of crisis: what lessons can we learn from this? It's about mechanisms that have an escalating effect and which are calming.

"The dream of a better world before my eyes, but still the demons on my neck." With this or similar words, he describes his paintings are about. It is a world that is indeed surreal without actually being surrealistic. Because his world is not composed of objects, as one would expect a surrealist painter is doing. He remains mainly abstract; because his world got created in the original, divine sense. Franz is a spiritual artist. He got convinced that we can find GOD in everything:

"Maybe GOD is just a prankster, sometimes fooling us to show us the right way. Humour is a gift GOD gave us to see HIS plan. Sometimes a single laugh can lead to greater insight than any philosophical treatise or religious work. But maybe with humour, life is only more bearable, hostilities get reduced, and people can find their way to each other."

Franz explores ideas around crisis and conflict, often with a wink of the eye. His paintings are never without hope. Black thoughts he opposes with a specific, real “tragic” kind of humour. Large quilts of colour, heavy lines often just sketchy, composed in a grid structure his paintings are about. All this he achieves by using broad brushes, spatulas, and rollers as a craftsman does. Intensifying the brightness by adding sand, plaster or others, Franz's paintings are from scratch; he dislikes all prefab materials. Franz has participated in several exhibitions, including a solo exhibition in 2015 at the Tacheles Gallery, a former art centre in Berlin, Germany. Galleries like Rise Art or Saatchi Art represent him, and he has sold many large-scale paintings to international collectors. You may also have seen his paintings in television shows as stage decorations.

Artist Statement

ART seems to be more like the huge compost pile in my garden than the sterile infant ward, where I actually was born. Trying to survive as an artist, many drowned in the juice of their own feelings. Certainly one cannot study art. As well there is no one who understands all this stuff. History is written by its victors just like art-history. And so these strange inconsistencies arise: If one makes an excursion to the moon and chokes on all this ugly moon dust... Fortunately, I have not studied art the purest form of utter absurdity. I trust no one since childhood. A freshly-whitened panel seems suspicious to me. If I cannot stop myself and start painting, it becomes more and more difficult. In order not to lose the upper hand, I go back step by step... Sometimes I defiantly refuse painting, maybe for weeks or even for a year, to starve out all these crazy thoughts. And the whole time I rack my brain, whether they have already starved... When I finally resign after a long time and take up a paint-brush, so that it will not rot in the wash water: Then suddenly they are back, these unspeakable thoughts...