Young Artists 2021

Artist Francesco Igory Deiana Renders the Digital World In Analog

Isabel Flower

Photography by Alessandro Simonetti

Francesco Igory Deiana
Francesco Igory Deiana in his studio (2020).

“I go through periods where I make work in a specific way—these can last months, or even years,” Francesco Igory Deiana tells me over Zoom. “I’m known, for example, for my large-scale graphite drawings, which I’ve been doing for the last five years, but on my table right now are wood panels that I am working on with paint.” The Brooklyn-based artist’s multimedia practice involves such a wide range of materials and techniques that a trip to his studio might be “confusing,” he admits, laughing, as there’s so much to take in. “To me, being an artist means not having any boundaries or limitations within my creativity,” he explains with an enthusiasm that radiates through the screen. “It means having infinite sources of inspiration. It means being allowed to jump into the unknown.”

Francesco Igory Deiana

Born in Milan, Deiana moved to the US in search of this very creative freedom, spending stints first in San Francisco and then Los Angeles before settling in New York. In SF, he worked at the studio of an established artist, traveling the world in accordance with their exhibition schedule and learning more about a life of artmaking than he ever could have in school. With that said, his astonishing technical versatility is mostly self-taught; transitions between different materials and compositional methods trace an organic trajectory of personal discovery in which each step is a consequence of whatever realization came before. A through line in his practice, however, is an attempt to use analog materials to visualize digital imagery, and many of his works—psychedelic in their expression of form and depth but most often rendered in grayscale—function like optical allusions in the ambiguity of their referents and media. Though he feels strongly that these compositions are best experienced in person, Deiana is grateful that, due to “80% of everything else” he was doing being cancelled or postponed in the wake of COVID, he now has “the possibility to focus completely on my work. It somehow made my purpose a little more pure.”