Natalia Franco is a self-described collector of the world. As a sculptor and the creator of Goop World, her desire to create is influenced by her experiences, observations, and relationships. Featured in MIXD gallery’s second drop, Natural Beings, Franco’s work employs a gentle neutrality intertwined with complex emotions to create space for both empathy and intimacy.
Who or what motivated you to become an artist?
Natalia Franco Being born with a love for cute and unique objects paired with a scorching flame of deep emotional presence, it was kind of inevitable for me to find artistry. I’ve loved collecting skills throughout my life like sewing, sculpting, woodworking, welding, carving, resins, and using them together to create novel ideas and concepts has become my favorite thing in the whole world.
I’m lucky to have parents that have been consistently supportive of my creative thinking and endeavors- my dad being one of my biggest inspirations for his wide variety of skills and fearlessness in trying new things. I think being an artist is being a student of everything, and I will be continuing to expand my realm for as long as I am alive.
What are 3 essential elements that characterize your work?
NF My artwork is strongly tied together by elements from morality, love, and suffering. Three essential pieces of the human experience. I love to emphasize the parts of nature that we are often hesitant to or unable to express, and I try to do so with empathy, vulnerability, and honesty.
How do emotions play a role in your creative process?
NF My artwork is a processing of the world around me, especially a processing of my inner emotional world. The battle of love, morality, deep longing, and the twinkling, even explosive feelings of happiness, all inspire me to create.
What are you most excited about the pieces you are showing in Drop 002?
NF I am extremely excited about my brand new Goop World series Collide With You. Three creatures Ice Baer, Warrior, and Play, explore the intertwined relationship that we have with our home planet, Earth, and the role that we play as inhabitants. I was so delighted to be a part of this drop as I feel my artwork has a lot to say about what it’s like to be a “Natural Being”, especially at this time in history.
What is the message you want to convey to the audience or what emotions do you want to provoke in them?
NF My hope is that people can see themselves as a part of something larger when they look at my work. We are deeply connected to our home planet- the soil, the animals, our bodies, the stars, and the energies we all share. This is one of the most important times in history, and our world needs us. I think at this time it’s important to be aware, to listen, and to protect.
What advice would you give to emerging artists that you wish you knew when you started?
NF I would tell emerging artists to get really vulnerable and honest in their artwork. Take the risk and share the unique perspective and novelty that you and only you contain- it can move mountains. Also, having an understanding that my creativity will ebb and flow just as everything else does, and knowing ways to keep my mind working in those times has saved me time and time again.
Introduction by Rachel Roberts
Interview by Gala Reneaum Tello