Lorenzo Fonda’s work can be described as detailed studies of the human body that experiment with media and materials to create pieces that are simultaneously both realistic and fantastic.
Fonda was born in Piran, in Istria, Italy, in 1947; however, when the territory was overtaken by Yugoslavia, he and his family were forced to leave and then settled in Trieste. In 1963, Fonda moved to Perugia where he finish secondary school and subsequently enrolled in the Facility of Medicine and Surgery at the University. In the following years he spent much of his time between Perugia and Paris. In Paris he was exposed to the cultural and artistic life of the city which inspired him to begin painting.
For several years, Fonda’s life veered between the art world and the scientific world of medicine. His first one man show was held in 1969 at the La Luna gallery in Perugia, but then, in 1976, he received a doctoral degree in medicine and surgery and began his own medical practice in Perugia. Eventually after a few years he left the medical profession to focus entirely on painting. Much of his later art, however, especially when looking at his depiction of human forms, suggests the influence of his anatomical training.
In addition to his depictions of human forms, Fonda’s works have both colorist and fragmental influences, with inspiration attributed to Giorgione and Caravaggio. Throughout his career Fonda also maintained a close friendship with fellow artist and physician Alberto Burri. Burri created collages using materials such as tar, pumice, and burlap. Burri’s mixed media pieces have had a significant impact on Fonda, influence in the way he views materials and media. These combined influences (anatomical, Renaissance forms and mixed media) combine in Fonda’s work to make them both contemporary and traditional.
Since his first one man show in Perugia in 1969, Fonda has exhibited widely. A sample listing of these exhibits take him from Italy (Perugio, Rome, Trieste), to Australia (Sydney and Melbourne) to Germany (Bonn) to Belgian (Antwerp), and the United States (Washington DC and New York).
In 1990 he was invited by H.M. Queen Noor el Hussein of Jordan to create a series of paintings celebrating the kingdom of Jordan. Fonda loved the area so much, he established a studio in Jordan where he continues to work.