"I'm essentially a painter who also works in
performance. I come from a visual art background and
not "live art" or theatre, and this is very important
to me as it informs the way my work is read. In the
last 20 years or so I have developed ways of working
to suit my need at that particular time, in terms of
strategy and context, by using, installation,
sculpture, video and sound."
Franko B, 2008
Franko B was born in Milan and has lived in London since 1979.
He has been creating work across video, photography, performance, painting, installation,
sculpture and mixed media since 1990.
Franko has performed at the Tate Modern, ICA, South London Gallery and Beaconsfield,
and has presented work internationally in Zagreb,
Mexico City, Milan, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Copenhagen, Madrid and Vienna, Tate Liverpool
and most recently at the Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Belgium and the Crawford
municipal gallery in Cork, Ireland. Franko B lectures widely, including at St. Martins
School of Art, DasArt, New York University and the Courtauld Institute of Art.
He has been the subject of two monographs, 'Franko B' (Black Dog Publishing 1998)
and 'Oh Lover Boy' (2001) and has published a photographic project entitled
'Still Life' (2003).
In 2007, 'Blinded by Love' was published, as a monographic publication on the
work of Franko B. The book documents Franko Bís
practical research into the politics of performance,
covering over 15 years of artistic activity. The works
in the volume span from paintings and objects,
characterized by the recurring triptych
Man-Heart-Cross, to the documentation concerning live
performances in which the artistís flesh and blood
become a canvas for the representation of
vulnerability, pain and loss.
Franko B is supported by the BOW ARTS TRUST (www.bowarts.org)
What's in the Archive?
The archive covers the last 20 years of Frankoís work, and includes material in a wide
variety of formats related to his performances, screenings, exhibitions, collaborations,
mentoring, books and visual art.
View the list of items in the Franko B Archive (coming soon)
There are posters and photographs of Franko and his work, and also a number of items made from
the cloth Franko has bled onto during his performances, including several garments.
Other artefacts include the number counter machine, the bleeding kit, two kilner jars of
syringes and other objects associated with bleeding, and the fabric representing the
British and American flags with blood splatters from 'They Shoot Children Donít They' (2006) Ė
a piece relating to the Iraq war.
Franko will continue to add to the archive as his performance works develop in coming years.
He has recently decided to discontinue bleeding
in performance, and is pursuing other challenging
creative strategies, including painting.
In 'Don't Leave Me This Way', his latest performance work in
progress, Franko B's body is presented naked and
unpainted, seated on a raised plinth or altar. The
audience is allowed time to look at his body, to
approach it as a sculptural form. 'Don't Leave Me This
Way' will continue his practical research into the
politics of performance, in new and unexpected ways.