Born in 1952 in Naples, Francesco Clemente is best known for his colorful, highly expressive drawings and paintings of the human form. After studying architecture at the University of Rome, Clemente turned to visual art and quickly gained recognition for his work. Frequently featuring subjective and erotic imagery, Clemente's drawings and paintings often depict the human body, particularly the female body. Other common subjects of Clemente’s work include spirituality, himself, and the symbolism of childhood dreams and memories.
In 1980, Clemente participated in the Venice Biennale and today he is seen as one of the most important artists of the Neo-Expressionist movement which emerged in the 1970s and 1980s as a reaction against the cerebral, emotionally detached art of Minimalism and Conceptualism. His works are held in the collections of the New York Public Library, the Museum of Modern Art, the Bibliothèque National (Paris), and the Whitney Museum of American Art, among others.