Laura Fantini is a contemporary artist best known for her life-size hyper-realistic still life. She lives between New York and Bologna.
Fantini's artworks are known for their intense details. She works primarily in colored pencil. In her “Still Lives”, pencils are her paint and paper is her canvas. Her work is smooth and appears to be almost photographic at a first look. However, a closer look reveals the intricate detail of it. From thousands upon thousands of precise, distinct, cross-hatched pencil-strokes, Fantini builds up rich tones.
Her art is defined by strong contrast values and highly theatrical compositions with dramatic lighting and abstract symbolic backgrounds.
“My flowers, seeds or leaves are more than mere objects. My artworks do not only represent the reality of the “still life objects” I paint, but also the unique and intimate interpretation of emotions, memories and human relationships. The essential elements of my artworks are composition, drawing, contrasts and symbolism, but also realism and simplicity. The settings I apply are modest and minimalist: few objects can stand alone to make a complete composition dominated by a critical use of shadows which produces a dramatic staging effect.”
She was born in Bologna, Italy and graduated from the Liceo Artistico and Accademia di Belle Arti in her hometown. In 1985 Laura Fantini won First Prize for Premio Culturale Panta Rei, Bologna. Her first group show took place in Modena, Italy in 1992. Since then, Ms. Fantini's art has exhibited nationally and internationally and has been widely published and documented. After graduating, she worked on commercial illustrations and taught workshops on colored pencil technique at the University Primo Levi in Bologna. In 1998, one of her colored pencil artworks was featured in the M.E.I.N. newsletter, published in California and internationally distributed. In 2000, Laura Fantini was invited to participate in a charity auction at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania. In 2001, Ms. Fantini exhibited for the first time in the U.S. in Soho, New York. In 2002, she was selected for “Premio Arte” promoted by Arte, a Mondadori publication. In 2003, Ms. Fantini was included in the group exhibition “Proposte” at the Galleria Forni in Bologna and had her first solo exhibition. From 2005 through 2009, Laura Fantini donated some of her paintings to the Fall Auction/Party to benefit the New York based non-profit organization Big Apple Greeter.
Since 2004, Ms. Fantini has been collaborating with the Object Image Gallery in Brooklyn, New York. In 2008, she was selected by Profilo d’Arte - Banca Profilo among the most interesting emerging Italian artists and exhibited at the Museo della Permanente in Milan. Laura Fantini continues exhibiting in Italy and New York. She was awarded First Prize for both the First Annual Sylvia Glesmann Floral Exhibition and the Jane Peterson Memorial Award at the Salmagundi Club in New York. She also received an Honorable Mention at Gallery 364 in Brooklyn in 2010. Ms. Fantini is a member of the Salmagundi Club in New York and the Colored Pencil Society of America.