Giosetta Fioroni, Rome 1932
Giosetta Fioroni is the only woman artist of the Piazza del Popolo school, a group of loosely associated young artists named for the iconic square in whose cafes they gathered. Fioroni was born in Rome to a family of artists—her father Mario was a sculptor while her mother Francesca was a painter—and she studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome as well as spending time in Paris. Although Fioroni began her career painting monochrome abstractions, she soon turned a figurative style inspired by American Pop art, deriving imagery from the mass media, from the rich Italian art historical tradition, and sometimes even from family or found photographs, which the artist reinterpreted in a strikingly graphic style. In a series from the early 1960s, entitled Argenti, Fioroni transformed iconic figures of art history, including Botticelli’s Venus, rendering them in industrial aluminium enamel paint which she mixed with oil to create reflective surfaces suggestive of antique mirrors. She applied the same technique to what are perhaps her most celebrated works, enlarged glamour shots of actresses and models, their faces shown in extreme and arresting close-up, drawn from the ubiquitous fashion and lifestyle magazines that filled the Rome’s newsstands in the 1960s. Fioroni exhibited a number of these works at the 1964 Venice Biennale, the first significant introduction of Italian Pop art to an international audience. Throughout her long career, Fioroni has experimented with an eclectic array of media, trying her hand at film, sculpture, ceramics, and book design.