Francesco Arena draws inspiration for his work from Italian history, in particular the political and social issues that characterize recent events. Controversies, often times silenced for political reasons, gain new life through the synthetic and metaphorical forms of his sculptures.
Arena's solo exhibitions include Trittico 57, Project Room, Museion, Bolzano; Orizzonte con riduzione di Mare, Monitor, Rome (both in 2012); Com'è piccola Milan, Peep Hole, Milan (2011); Art Statement, Art Basel; Cratere, De Vleeshal, Middelburg (2010). He has participated in group exhibitions, including: The revolution must be made little by little |part 2: The Squaring of the Circle, Galeria Raquel Arnaud, Sao Paolo, Brasil (2012); Sotto la Strada la Spiaggia, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin (2012); Il bel paese dell'arte, GAMEC, Bergamo (2011); Pleure qui peut rit qui veut – Premio Furla 2011, Palazzo Pepoli, Bologna; Temporaneo – Contemporary Art in the Evolving City, organized by Nomas Foundation and IMF Foundation, Rome (2010); Practicing Memory – In the time of an all – engaging present, Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella (2010).
In 2011 Arena was shortlisted for the Premio Furla, Palazzo Pepoli, Bologna. In 2009 he won the Premio Fondazione Ermanno Casoli, Fabriano and Premio LUM for Contemporary Art, I Edition, LUM, Libera Università Mediterranea, Bari. He has been has been artist in residence at Villa Arson,Nice.
The artist was born in Torre Santa Susanna, Brindisi, in 1978. He currently lives and works in Cassano delle Murge, Bari.