"behind these hazel eyes"

Produced & Photographed by Alejandro Ramírez

Grooming Elena Perez

starring Ruy Costa @ Fifth Models

The world of Ali Franco: Exclusive Interview and Presentation

Eastern European ( originally from Ukraine) but based in Portugal, Ali Franco is a unique artist and painter.

"Lover of the erotic themes of the homosexual world, he represents a combination of concepts and taboos and gives us glimpses of bourgeois porn in candy covers, where Harmony novel atmospheres act as a setting for disturbing sexual acts among wrestlers of ancient Greece."

-Tell us a bit more about you and your art.

I was born within an artistic family, my parents have art education and my father always worked in museums and theaters, decorating rooms and the stage.

I loved so much to be in a backstage room, to see the actors preparing for showsand the busy atmosphere. I loved costumes around me and the makeup smell, it was like magic in the air.

Something else that stayed in my mind as a strong memory is the Apollo mask on the wall of my room. I was drawing him very often. Years later I was in love with the movies of Fellini Satyricon and Casanova. I guess all of these things had influence on me.

But I thought there is something I can't find and I want to see it...

I was looking for that something in books, magazines, internet and finally decided to create something by myself: homoerotic illustrations with the atmosphere I love: theater, Greek, French, Italian culture.

-How did you decide to follow and develop that section of art?

My first work pieces were not openly homoerotic actually. But people said “they look like gays, why do you do it? The guys you paint, look too feminine, it's so weird.” I guess I confused people around with my works.

I heard from them “it might be better to do normal things, because nobody needs paintings like yours”.

And I made a big break with my own artworks. I closed up and I was working just for requests, painting mostly portraits, landscapes, book and game illustrations.

But I believe it was a good experience in my life, that gave me new skill level and requirements. As a final point now they love what I create.

-Describe your art in three words.

Three main words are always with me when I'm painting - Passion, Beauty, Love.

-Where do you find inspiration? Books or paintings? Do you organise a set with live models as well?

I can say I'm more illustrator than a painter. I create a composition in my head and later I look for models. Sometimes my friends help me with this, sometimes I use photos… everything can be good in this case.

-How is fashion related to your work?

Talking about fashion, it's funny - as a teenager I wanted to be a fashion designer, to create interesting clothes, but at the same time I always thought - “it will be something out of fashion because it's too weird or complicated.”

I hope in future to use more clothes and hairstyle ideas in my artworks, maybe even to create some alternative or even a surreal world.

I like what is going on with fashion today - looks like we are very close to freedom, people can be creative and feel free to express themselves.

I'm really glad about it!

-Where can someone find your art and actually buy his favourite painting?

Two years ago I started to post my works on Instagram and didn't expected for a lot of followers, if to be honest. So I really appreciate all people who like my works! And I'm glad that people buy my paintings or art prints.

At the moment I have Etsy page for this (https://www.etsy.com/shop/AFstore) and also you can find some of my works in Filippo Ioco Studio and Gallery in Barcelona (http://www.iocostudiogallery.com).

-What are your next plans? Are planning any exhibition soon ?

I have so many plans - first to continue create new illustrations sure.

I hope to publish few books with sketches and color illustrations. Also to take a part in art exhibitions and to make a solo exhibition in two years.

Follow Ali Franco on INSTAGRAM