Florasynthesis: The Botanical Unknown by Vico Fabbris


Vico Fabbris, TSKW artist-in-residence, was born in Northern Italy and attended Florence’s Institute of Art Porta Romana. He received his MFA from the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence and presently divides his time between that city and Boston. Vico has twice received the Massachusetts Cultural Council Award.

In his ongoing series “The Botanical Unknown” the artist paints imaginary botanical still lives, imbuing each with a soul and personality making it distinctive from the rest. In reading these works, the viewer is faced with the rare task of having to reflect on what is real and what imagined.

Fabbris has spent the early part of January studying the plants of Key West and has used them as an influence to produce his Key West invented-extinct plants.  That is, plants that could have existed in Key West but have become extinct due to natural factors or caused my man’s insensitivity to nature that changed the ecosystem.

He invents possible extinct plants, placing them in an imagined landscape, then invents a complete botanical history and legend focusing on its specific source, location, medicinal properties, local usage, fragrance, and legend, often writing, in Italian, the explanatory text directly on the work.  Painting and writing about the plants made them visually real.


The Studios of Key West