Franco Dragone: A life of creating

Franco Dragone never ceased to grasp the strength and beauty of images, on the sole condition that they always carry meaning. It was a way for him to question reality with as much urgency as humor. An instigator of ample creations, he was no less concerned about the smallest details, whether it was the precision of a gesture, the shape of a costume, or the structure of an accessory. Franco Dragone was a man of the future, constantly developing new projects; always in search of the next technological evolution likely to be put at the service of his imagination, so that his vision translated into the magic of a shared enchantment.

Creation drove Franco Dragone’s life, and he loved life passionately… He was a man of encounters and exchanges, a prodigious storyteller whose every fable had  its origin in this “obscure feeling”: an intuition he shared with his team to pave the way for the gestation of ideas. Falling somewhere between narrative and ceremony, his works all bore a little of us, and a lot of him. He was gradually developing a dialogue of body and mind in which he was both the narrator and the witness, sketching out a living fresco in between brilliance and madness, play and surprise, until they melded into dazzling harmony.

A virtuoso colorist, Franco Dragone has built a work in perpetual evolution, built like an endless book, each of whose creations unfolds in chapters to question and explore the torments and joys of the human soul. From New Experience, conceived as an allegory of Dante’s Hell at Quidam, Tagged show of the brutal confrontation between the scent of lilac breathed on a spring morning in the Vieux Port of Montreal and the disenchanted fatalism of a fisherman who had just brought back the first drowned of the season in his nets. Far, far from an impossible angelism, the strength of all his shows is all wrapped up there, between love and anger, intensity and fragility, shadows and light.

If we were to keep only one image from one of his shows, the memory would perhaps be attached to the vertigo of La Chapelle Sixtine from Le Rêve, reincarnation of the Michelangelo’sTerribilità, magnifying bodies in tension and reviving by an absolute verticality the feeling of an inverted abyss, to the point of instinctively moving back to the bottom of his chair…

Its library was rich in a multitude of works whose point in common was diversity, but one section nevertheless attracted attention: many art books traced from one wall to another a strange line of life, fully contained in these pages filled with art masterpieces. This natural and spontaneous complicity with paintings in all its forms was not surprising: Franco Dragone probably did nothing other than to paint, relentlessly and passionately, a huge canvas each of which features, each of the keys, was the vivid expression of an insatiable creativity, to make, at the very least and for the greatest number, the world more beautiful.

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