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artist biography

Francis Palazzolo is an artist who and disrupts and mitigates the many problems of polarization. His artwork is trained on methods for generating in-between-ness, bridging divides, altering oppresive patterns and creating social change. This has been his thesis for more than thirty years. His artwork spans being an activist with adults confronting social marginalization to working with light waves as art.


To highlight Palazzolo’s oeuvre, below is a selection of sketches and links to the artwork on this site. Currently, Palazzolo, as artist-in-residence, is co-creating interdependent portraits with adults at five transitional housing facilities in the Bronx. Together they are decentering agency to reduce the exclusive and discriminating systems of power and knowledge. Palazzolo has continued to work in-person throughout the pandemic. Select portraits from this series, in transitions
, are on display at the New-York Historical Society Museum from December 2021 to April 2022. To complement his residency, Palazzolo founded being neighborly in 2016. This network of public and private institutions expands his ability to organize educational workshops and art exhibitions for adults experiencing social marginalization.


In logiCritic, a large body of multimedia work, Palazzolo subverted the systems, appearances, dogma, and taboos that obscure the horizon of the middle way. From movies and literature, to math and metaphor, to illegal acts and property rights, the sprawling series unhinges categorical distinctions, theoretical bonds and cultural norms. This artwork was on display in a solo exhibit at the Proposition Gallery, and group shows at Deitch Projects and Exit Art. Reviews of note appeared in ArtForum and the New York Times.

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Palazzolo exposed the ground of indeterminacy with light sculptures, the signature pieces of relations in combination. This series of artwork is based on his lecture “Representing Vagueness” at the 24th National Conference on Liberal Arts and the Education of Artists.


Palazzolo returned to the project, right to revolt
each decade with a new detonation, 1985 to 2013. Each series in its own way concocts recipes for action to revolutionize institutions and their effect on the citizenry. The first, Bi-polar Disorder Live, 1985, was a staged performance of Palazzolo as a fictitious singer in a straight jacket in an absent band. A series of stills survived from the LES NYC Ludlow Street basement gig. The project continued with crisis of representation, 1992-1989, a series of paintings that interrogate and revolt against the injustices of executive power. Institutions between the bull, 2013-1987, a large body of multimedia work, includes bullshit stories in literal bullshit, which served as catalysts for reform.

Between 1994 and 2016, Palazzolo founded several New York City based art studios and galleries for adults confronting social marginalization, where he also served as the Creative Director. Twice these programs were awarded National Endowment for the Arts Challenge America Grants, see healing arts initiative studio & gallery and the studio & gallery at hai.

Palazzolo was born in New Jersey in 1960. As early as he can remember, he loved art classes, but they always felt way too short, which motivated him to develop his own art practice at home. On the other hand, in sports, he received a lot of recognition and awards. A pivotal moment occurred in his senior year of high school when he was injured and needed an operation. Lying in the hospital bed, he realized the limits of sports and the vast long-lasting opportunities in art. Palazzolo received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting and sculpture at School of Visual Arts in 1984. He maintained the spirit of sports, though, the oppositional formations and adversarial competition seeping into his artistic ways and means. Palazzolo became involved in activism when he conceived of a viable art business consisting of both objects and service. The NYC grant system offered him flexible artist-in-residency opportunities that intersected with the polarizing issues he had begun to interrogate.

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