Francesco Clemente’s “Twins” is an aquatint printed in colors on Somerset paper. The work was executed in 1987 and is numbered 14/15, indicating that it is part of an edition of only fifteen copies. The artwork depicts two figures, both resembling the artist himself, standing side by side while facing opposite directions. One figure is drawn with a much darker ink, thereby highlighting the other’s paler appearance. The figures are painted using loose brushstrokes and shaded with crosshatching.
Clemente’s “Twins” belongs to his larger series of loose ink drawings executed around the same time as its creation in 1978. In these works, Clemente drew himself nude alongside another element that created a strange juxtaposition between two seemingly disparate elements from different worlds.
Clemente utilizes formal experimentation with symbols, portraiture and figurative painting to explore metaphysical questions about spirituality, mysticism and human consciousness throughout his oeuvre. Some of his work shows influences from traditional Indian art and culture as well as broader Neo-Expressionist movements.
Overall, Francesco Clemente’s “Twins” offers a fascinating insight into his unique style described as Transavantgarde which incorporates contemporary art trends rooted within metaphysical investigation through formal experimentation with symbolism, portraiture and figurative painting technique.