Gerlanda di Francia

What are fairy tales? For most of us the stories our parents read to make us go to sleep, as a kid. Originally, though, they were not so.

Fairy tales were the memory of the peasants world, recounted during rare moments of relax: they were the means by which a shared identity was built along with a symbolic interpretation of the world, and these two could exorcise negative feelings and anxieties such as fear of famine, abuse, and dereliction.

These fears were faced through the account of the main characters’ symbolic death and rebirth.

Due to a different social and economic structure, as well as a cultural crisis of the post modern, which has silenced topics were one is questioned and forced to grow up, contemporary society has arranged for a double censorship to take place.

By making them, on one hand, “children’s stuff”, fairy tales have been placed in a reserve, and muted. On the other hand they have been sweetened, removing all their expressive strength and ability to represent also the dark side of archetypes.   

With her paintings Gerlanda di Francia revolts against this state of things, recovering the ambivalent strength of fairy tales. Destructive power, because it forces us to confront the irruption of evil, chaos and instrinct in our daily lives.

Constructive power, because a knight may only become a hero by facing the dragon. And the pictures of Gerlanda force us to confront the dragon hidden within our soul.


Gerlanda di Francia, Italian artist, is somehow today associated with the Italian Surrealist Pop movement. She studies art from childhood onwards, prefers classic techniques; oil on canvas for painting, and pen for drawing. 

The usage of classic techniques tries to make plausible and convincing her improbable visions, dreamlike or fantastic may they be.

She explores the tragedy of our daily lives with the consciousness of those nightmares and anxieties that accompany us from childhood: in fairy tales there are not only prince charmings, but also ogres and wicked witches. We have to fight every day with these, in order for them not to crush us and make us become like them.