Italy, 1945 - 2020
In 1962 at the age of seventeen Franco Bellucci became a victim of brain injury, which impaired his speaking ability and led him to be admitted to the Psychiatric hospital of Volterra, where he remained until 1998. He was deemed a complicated and aggressive patient and was frequently tied to his bed. His transfer to the Residential Center Franco Basaglia produced a positive effect: it allowed the family weekend visits and free circulation within the center. It was there that Franco started crafting his first sculptures out of found materials discarded by the nurses: toys and utensils, socks and pieces of garments stolen from other residents, wires and other tools discovered in the facility garden. The artist Ricardo Bargellini encouraged Franco Bellucci and he was able to establish a friendly relationship with him, providing an opening to a world of textures and materials he had never seen before. Ricardo noted that once finished, Franco did not care for his creations and would discard them. The sculptures are Bellucci’s way of interpreting and connecting with the world. As Gustavo Giacosa points out, the act of separating and uniting elements is the base for creation of Franco’s own cosmology, a play of power and transformation.