Surreal sculptures by Francesca Dalla Benetta

El universo surrealista de

Francesca Dalla Benetta


My work is characterized by mixed anatomies and forms. Human faces and bodies are combined with different textures, skins and elements, giving rise to hybrid beings
Through my aesthetics, in balance between the classic and the surreal, I study the themes of transformation, sense of belonging and self-perception, the ability to adapt, stereotypes and categorization. I look for the fine line that separates personal identity from social conventions, sanity from madness, studying the differences between perception and reality.

My figures are a look towards the interior and the lack of control, they are a way of containing the uncontainable.
The stories of each character, isolated in an intimate and unreal dimension, are reflections on the identity of misfits and the many facets of being.

As an artist, my most important task is to communicate and stimulate a different way of feeling and thinking. I mainly resort to sculpture because it is an affirmation of solidity in contrast to the volatility of thoughts and emotions: it consolidates and crystallizes them into a permanent and lasting image, it is a perfect tool to stop doubting reality and oneself.


Francesca Dalla Benetta, an Italian artist living in Mexico, conducted her studies at the Academy of Arts in Milan. Since 2004 she had been dedicated to the realization of special effects and sculpture for the movie industry, and thanks to this profession she learned modeling techniques that she begun to transpose into her personal work as an artist.

Francesca arrived in Mexico in 2006 with the production of the film Apocalypto by Mel Gibson, and she decided to stay for professional reasons. The surrealist influence of life in Mexico, together with the love for cinema and fantasy literature, determined her style and concept in a decisive way. Her work investigates the fantastic anatomy, dreams, self-identity, transformation and spiritual evolution, the sense of belonging, loneliness, the connection between human beings, with the cosmos and with the divine.

In her career, Francesca has 15 individual exhibitions (Galeria Oscar Roman, Fundación Sebastian, Galeria de la Universidad Iberoamericana, Espacio y Lugar, Aguafuerte, Galeria Malaga etc) and numerous collectives (Galeria Corsica, Galeria Oscar Roman, Ex Teresa among others) and numerous collectives in Mexico and Italy. Her work has been reviewed in specialized art magazines (Horizontum, Scenario, La Razon, Milenio Diario, El universal, Distrito Global) as well as in numerous cultural programs on radio and television (Milenio TV, Channel 22, Channel Once, El Matutino TV, El financial TV among others).

Part of her career consists of dedicating herself to teaching plastic arts and characterization: for 9 years, she has been training new talents in the artistic and cinematographic field.


My favourite material is clay. I love touching what I use to create, it is one of the most pleasant sensations experienced, and it makes me stay really in tune with my art, through a very physical plan. I have almost always the same process for every work, no matter the size. I first have the vision in my mind, generally in a very spontaneus way, in unexpected moments or in dreams. I sketch it down immediately, on any paper surface I can find, then I put it aside. After some time (hours, or days, or even months) I look at it, and think what it means to me. If it still makes me feel passionate about it, I generate a series of more detailed sketches and some written notes. Then, I act on it, transforming it into a 3 dimensional work. I shape light rigid poliurethan to the total volume, then I cover it with clay. Sometimes I use epoxic clay, so I can avoid the process of mould making. I work fine textures and meticulous details, with metal and wood sculpture tools. Epoxic clay dry in 1 hour and I need to have everything clear in my mind and work quickly. This is my favourite moment, when I need to do the hard and dirt work! Finally, I paint my works with oil painting, acrilycs, alcohol and vegetal inks, using different techniques, as brushes, aerography or splatter brushes, mixed and worked in layers, according to the effect I look for. I use a neutral dark color palette, that reminds me colours of nature and an introspective and quiet mood.


I was born in Florence, Italy, in a hot summer day.
My childhood was filled with a grandmother that takes me around all the museums of the city and tells me all the wonderful stories of the life of great Renaissance artists. And when I’m not with grandma, I spent long afternoons drawing, painting or making small sculptures.

I was told that at the age of 4 years I made a series of portraits so impressively resembling to my entire family, that everybody pictured me as a future great famous artist.
Years later, when choosing high school, art school seems the most natural thing.

Unfortunately mom and dad do not agree. What kind of a job is to be an artist? You don’t want to starve doing portraits in the church square!

Then, having no choice, I attended five years of Science High School, followed by the University, the Faculty of Physics. I’ve got the best grades but I’m not happy at all.

Unexpectedly in the mid of my studies and against the wishes of the parents, I decide out of the blue to leave the university to try to enter the prestigious Academy of Fine Arts in Milan, the secular Brera. The summer of 1999 begins my biggest and most challenging dream: studying art. So excited!

After four years, I graduated. With a trajectory of experimental research in the field of photography and video art, and no idea about my future, I started to fear my parents`prophecy… so I decide to get practical and devote myself to the world of cinema, specializing in set design and special make up.

I move to Rome in order to continue working in a special effects studio. A new adventure was beginning: I was lucky enough to work in is Black Dahlia of Brian De Palma as my very first project.

In 2006, the production of Apocalypto by Mel Gibson invited me to work in Mexico. Again, I picks up the ball and move to the other side of the world full of expectation. I was growing! I sharpened my skills as a sculptor working for several years in local film projects.

But the rebellion that made me stop Physics and the curiosity that leads me always to explore new things, made me once again change direction: I decide to dedicate myself to sculpture and in 2011 I had my first solo show in Mexico City, followed by many other exhibitions in international galleries and museums. Joy Joy Joy!

My work is now part of numerous private collections and has been reviewed by countless newspapers, trade magazines and television programs. Meanwhile I started teaching special effects and sculpture, finding another great love, education: I have a great art education system based on practical presencial classes and online course for who lives far away.

And, more excited every day of my adventurous journey, I go one step after the other towards new achievements!

P.D. in case you was wondering… my parents stopped picturing me doing portraits in the church square a few years ago… and me too!


Nací en Florencia, Italia, en un caluroso día de verano.
Mi infancia estuvo llena de una abuela que me llevaba por todos los museos de la ciudad y me contaba todas las maravillosas historias de la vida de los grandes artistas del Renacimiento. Y cuando no estaba con la abuela, pasaba largas tardes dibujando, pintando o haciendo pequeñas esculturas.

Me dijeron que a la edad de 4 años hice una serie de retratos tan impresionantemente parecidos a mi familia, que todo el mundo me imaginó como una futura gran artista famosa.

Años después, al elegir la escuela secundaria, la escuela de arte parecía ser lo más natural. Desafortunadamente mamá y papá no estaban de acuerdo. ¿Qué tipo de trabajo es ser un artista? ¡No quieres morir de hambre haciendo retratos en la plaza de la iglesia!

Así que, al no tener otra opción, asistí a cinco años de preparatoria cientifica, seguido de la Universidad, la Facultad de Física. Tenia las mejores calificaciones pero no estaba feliz en absoluto.

Inesperadamente a mitad de mis estudios y en contra de los deseos de los padres, de la nada decidí abandonar la universidad para intentar ingresar a la prestigiosa Academia de Bellas Artes de Milán, la Brera secular. El verano de 1999 comienza mi sueño más grande y desafiante: estudiar arte. ¡Muy emocionada!

Después de cuatro años, me gradué. Con una trayectoria de investigación experimental en el campo de la fotografía y el videoarte, y sin idea de mi futuro, comencé a temer la profecía de mis padres … así que decidí ser práctica y dedicarme al mundo del cine, especializándome en el diseño de escenarios y maquillaje especial.

Me mudé a Roma para seguir trabajando en un estudio de efectos especiales. Una nueva aventura comenzaba: tuve la suerte de trabajar en Black Dahlia of Brian De Palma como mi primer proyecto.

En 2006, la producción de Apocalypto de Mel Gibson me invitó a trabajar en México. De nuevo, tomé la pelota y me moví hacia el otro lado del mundo llena de expectativa. ¡Estaba creciendo! Afiné mis habilidades como escultor trabajando durante varios años en proyectos cinematográficos locales.

Pero la rebeldía que me hizo interrumpir la carrera enFísica y la curiosidad que siempre me lleva a explorar cosas nuevas, me hicieron cambiar de dirección una vez más: decidí dedicarme a la escultura y en 2011 tuve mi primera exposición individual en la Ciudad de México, seguida de muchos otras exposiciones en galerías y museos internacionales. Que gozo!

Mi trabajo ahora es parte de numerosas colecciones privadas y ha sido revisado por innumerables periódicos, revistas comerciales y programas de televisión. Mientras tanto comencé a enseñar efectos especiales y escultura, y encontré otro gran amor, la docencia: tengo un gran sistema de educación artística basado en clases presenciales prácticas y cursos en línea para quienes viven lejos.

Y, cada día más emocionada de mi viaje de aventura, ¡voy un paso tras otro hacia nuevos logros!

P.D. en caso de que te lo estuvieras preguntando … mis padres dejaron de imaginarme haciendo retratos en la plaza de la iglesia hace unos años … ¡y yo también!

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