Franco Recchia has taken the internet by storm with his unique works of art, which incorporate parts of old computers. In this way he gives these objects, which other people see as trash, a new life through art. He says that he has always enjoyed seeing what is inside the things that we often take for granted as whole objects, and so this part of his art was a kind of natural progression.

To achieve his unusual effects, he makes good use of his technical training – including the four different kinds of welding he knows how to perform. We were delighted to be able to interview Franco, so if you’re curious to find out more about his work and what his wife thinks about his magpie habits, read on!

What was the original impulse behind your idea to use pieces from broken technology to create a work of art?

Franco: I always have been fascinated by objects of common use because they were, originally, made by a person who put creativity, intelligence, and passion into designing or making them, from a screw to a complex technological system. In every single piece I come across in life there lies behind it the personality of the person who thought about it and built it.

Where do you get the components you use? Do you harvest them from dead devices or buy them separately? What is your favorite source of material?

Franco: I prefer to find the pieces that I put in my artwork in places like trash heaps, where others throw away what they think is not useful anymore; though many pieces have been given to me as gifts. I almost never buy the objects that I use in my creations. The things that I do buy I keep as part of my private collection – they’re not for use in my work.

What did your family think when you started collecting old electronics?

Franco: My mother taught me to keep things, for example when I was little she started to sew a suit for me but she was such a perfectionist that it was never finished and is not finished yet, she keeps it as a precious object. With my wife it has been the same – she is a ” keeper” too. So when I started to “collect” objects it just came naturally. They’re not as understanding now though – I have my room and two houses full of objects, and everything is organized according to my own sense order. Noboby is allowed to enter where I work, either, so nothing can be thrown away – there are a couple of fingers of dust in there, but it doesn’t matter to me, it’s alright like that.

What would you say is the main message of the work displayed in the exhibition at Agora Gallery?

Franco: The message I would like to transmit is passion and respect, both of which are essential to create something of value. This is true both in life, and in work.

Do you have much technical knowledge? For example, would you know how to assemble your own computer?

Franco: I don’t know anything about my computer in that sense, I couldn’t reassemble it. I have other people around me who know how to do that. But I know the technology, and it fascinates me to know what is inside the computer, as well as how the individual compoments work – which is obviously relevant to my work because I use the parts, not the whole. It’s like with a car, I drive it, and understand the individual parts, but I wouldn’t start to work as a repair man. But I’m happy with what I do know.


What do you think is the most beautiful piece of technology commercially available today?

Franco: The microwave. I like its waves, the  cavity within, the simplicity and elegant functionality.  I also find it interesting that it has to be inexpensive, for commercial reasons. Usually it is precisely the use we make of objects that makes them precious. For example, in one of my artworks there is a part of a respirator from a hospital unit. I tried to think when I was using it how many breaths of how many people have gone in there, and how many lives it saved.

Does your Italian cultural background inform your work in any way?

Franco: I don’t know, but I think so. It is certainly easier, living in a city like Florence, because you see and absorb art without realizing it. I can say that I regret not having gone to art school. The technical school that I attended, however, gave me great satisfaction and the technical basis for my compositions, so it was important in its own way. For example, thanks to that education, I can weld in at least four different ways.

Skylines feature significantly in the work that is part of the Agora Gallery exhibition. What is it about them that speaks to you?

Franco: I like to observe cities from up high, maybe even from a helicopter (when I can). I was always excited to see the profiles of towns and to try to see them again in my artwork.

Last Sunday two major technology websites reported on your work, and since then it has appeared on hundreds of other websites, and been seen by hundreds of thousands of people. How do you feel about the sudden explosion of interest?

Franco: Although I know it seems like a trivial answer, the truth is that I simply did not expect it and it hasn’t sunk in. It feels as if they are talking about someone else, instead of me. I don’t believe it yet!

Franco Recchia’s work can be seen in the exhibition The Odyssey Within: An Exhibition of Fine Art by Greek and Italian Artists which opens at Agora Gallery this Thursday, December 16, 2010. It will remain at Agora Gallery until January 7, 2011. The reception is this Thursday, from 6 to 8 p.m. Franco’s work, and other fine art for sale from the other artists in the exhibition, can be purchased from ARTmine.com.

Gallery Location: 530 West 25th St, New York City
Gallery Hours: Tues – Sat, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.



16 Responses to Franco Recchia, the spare parts sensation

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by pacerchen, Agora Gallery. Agora Gallery said: Spare parts sculptures – for those who couldn't get enough of Franco Recchia, here's an interview and hi-res images http://bit.ly/h97pYH [...]

  2. fendidahada says:

    Really amazing…i also recycle computer component…i make a key chain using the processor. ..

  3. [...] welding techniques, each performed by the man himself. The Italian artist recently sat down with Agora Gallery to discuss his works, inspiration, technology and more, in advance of his forthcoming exhibition to [...]

  4. [...] Franco Recchia’s Cityscape SculpturesThe Agora Gallery in New York City has a show of Franco Recchia’s cityscape sculptures made of scrap metal and discarded cardboard.Recchia seeks in his sculptures to bring dignity to the process of modern creation, to highlight how every product produced by human hands contains talent, imagination and great beauty, and ultimately stems from the vast reservoir of human experience of which we are all a part. His sculptures are indeed a testament to what is beautiful, elegant and functional in the modern object, and are a tribute to the aptitude and passion that are our inheritance.Link to the gallery website via boingboingUpdate: You can find a more detail interview with the artist on the Agora Art Blog.google_ad_client="ca-pub-3012988026870532";google_ad_slot="9254229053";google_ad_width=468;google_ad_height=15; Monday, December 6th, 2010. Filed under: Art Designgoogle_ad_client="ca-pub-3012988026870532";google_ad_slot="1711419543";google_ad_width=250;google_ad_height=250; google_ad_client="ca-pub-3012988026870532";google_ad_slot="0344820104";google_ad_width=250;google_ad_height=250; AffiliatesFeatured ArticlesTypographic Map PostersThe Vibrant City: BangkokNile River Delta at Night49 Cities ExhibitSingapore University of Technology and Design by UNstudioAboutMagical Urbanism, a website about urbanization, design and social change, is maintained by Mike Ernst. I'm an urban planner and designer based in San Francisco. I recently graduated from the Masters of City Planning program at UC Berkeley.You can follow me on Twitter here. If you have a link to submit, click here!Recent CommentsMoira on The Evolution of Stencil ArtThe Amazing Transforming 344 sq. ft. Apartment | magical urbanism on Michael Wolf and the Architecture of DensityMike on The Vibrant City: Bangkokcecilia on The Vibrant City: BangkokThe Vibrant City: Bangkok | magical urbanism on The Exceptional City: Hong KongAffiliatesAdvertisementgoogle_ad_client="ca-pub-3012988026870532";google_ad_slot="4432978660";google_ad_width=250;google_ad_height=250; © Mike Ernst 2010 Web Toolbar by Wibiya [...]

  5. [...] browsings” (insider lol) and I must say this is some next level shit…read more on him here. This entry was posted in DOPENESS ON THE HORIZON, Things We Think is Dope, art galleries and [...]

  6. [...] is the next artist to grab our attention.  Franco recently gave an exclusive interview to Agora Gallery, explaining more about his unique creations and what goes into them. Recchia basically gets all his [...]

  7. [...] is the next artist to grab our attention.  Franco recently gave an exclusive interview to Agora Gallery, explaining more about his unique creations and what goes into them. Recchia basically gets all his [...]

  8. [...] from the Agora Art Blog: Franco Recchia’s work can be seen in the exhibition The Odyssey Within: An Exhibition of Fine [...]

  9. [...] asked what inspired his artwork, Franco told the Agora Gallery Blog the [...]

  10. [...] welding techniques, each performed by the man himself. The Italian artist recently sat down with Agora Gallery to discuss his works, inspiration, technology and more, in advance of his forthcoming exhibition to [...]

  11. [...] is the next artist to grab our attention.  Franco recently gave an exclusive interview to Agora Gallery, explaining more about his unique creations and what goes into them. Recchia basically gets all his [...]

  12. [...] artist covers an array of major cities, including New York, Chicago, Detroit, and more. In an interview with the Agora art gallery, Recchia reveals that he often finds parts in “trash heaps” and that it takes four [...]

  13. [...] artist covers an array of major cities, including New York, Chicago, Detroit, and more. In an interview with the Agora art gallery, Recchia reveals that he often finds parts in “trash heaps” and that it takes four [...]

  14. [...] York, Chicago, Detroit, e di altre città. Franco Recchia, inoltre, in un’intervista alla Agora art gallery, ha detto di prendere l’hardware dai mucchi spazzatura elettronica e di creare nuove “tecno [...]

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