Floris Boccanegra (born June 16th 1988 in Belgium) is a Belgian conceptual artist, living and working in Brussels.
As a child he spent a lot of his time in the book shop of his parents. Mostly in the history section, soaking up everything there is to know about our past. Already at a young age, Floris made it clear that he later wanted to become a war photographer, an ambition that he eventually abandoned to study History and English instead, in Ghent (Belgium).
With every project Floris asks himself the question how he can, in the best possible and strongest way, visualise a certain topic. In order to create as much attention as possible for the subject of the work. This always leads to visually powerful works, combined with a deeper meaning. “A good artwork is like a boxer. The first punch is what you see or experience, but the knockout blow is what’s behind the work, the meaning, the story. If I don’t feel these two punches while watching a work of art, then it’s nothing for me”.
Another important factor of his work is the artist’s own engagement. “I’ve always been more inspired by the type of art where I can truly feel the passion of the artist. The blood, sweat and tears. Whether it’s a passionate cook looking for the best ingredients or a war photographer (which I wanted to become when I was younger) risking his life to show us the realities of war. Whenever I see passion and engagement I feel inspired. That’s the type of artists that I want to be myself. You cannot credibly make a stand for anything if you’re not willing to get your own hands dirty”.
The choice to use the pseudonym ‘Floris Boccanegra’ was inspired by a historical ‘nickname’. Originating in 13th century Italy (Genova), the name ‘Boccanegra’ literally translates to ‘Black Mouth’. To say that one had a Black Mouth was to say that one was an ‘evil speaker’. “The idea to use a pseudonym that already says something about the artist and his vision really appealed to me. Since my goal is to put the attention (through my art) on dark and violent topics in our society, the name Boccanegra was a perfect fit.”