Abbraccio is an artwork by the Italian contemporary artist Francesco Clemente. Created in 1983, the painting features the artist’s self-portrait on the left side with blood streaming out of his left ear and his trousers open to reveal an erect penis. The work is known for its dreamlike quality and esoteric themes of sexuality and spirituality.
Clemente’s works are characterized by their formal experimentation with symbols, portraiture, and the human figure. Abbraccio was created using gouache and pastel, which lend a softness to the bold lines and dramatic colors used in the piece. The contrast between light and dark creates a sense of movement within the painting, evoking a feeling of struggle or conflict.
The self-portrait in Abbraccio represents Clemente’s exploration of his own identity as an artist. His use of himself as subject matter reflects his interest in personal growth and spiritual enlightenment. This theme is further explored through symbolism throughout the painting, such as the snake wrapped around Clemente’s arm, representing knowledge or temptation.
Overall, Abbraccio is a visually striking piece that reflects Clemente’s commitment to exploring complex themes through formal experimentation. The work has become an important part of his oeuvre, influencing both his later works as well as contemporary artists working in similar styles.