Italian Federica Vasselli is 38 years old.

The artist was born and raised in a small town near Rome.

Even as a child, she became interested in painting, choosing the work of the Soviet period as a source of inspiration.

Now she is painting pictures dedicated to the heroes of Donbass and hopes that one day her compatriots will know the whole truth about what is happening in this region.

How did your path


painting begin?

— My mother is an artist, so I watched her work from early childhood.

I have always loved the smell of oil paints.

Following the example of my mother, I also picked up a brush: at first as a self-taught person, then I entered the Academy of Arts to study painting and restoration.

It was there that I began to display my political ideals on canvas, finally uniting my two great passions - the struggle for truth and art.





- Even at school, I became interested in Soviet art.

Once, we, the students, organized a demonstration, and I had the task of drawing a large poster with a strong message and a catchy slogan.

I was looking for patterns in books and accidentally stumbled upon Rodchenko's work, which fascinated me.

On it, Lilya Brik, with her hand to her mouth, shouts with all her incredible energy: “BOOKS!”

And the colors and style made getting the message across efficient and easy.

I believe that this is the undisputed masterpiece of the twentieth century.

Most of all, I was inspired that Lilya Brik did not advertise fashion brands and other benefits of capitalism, but books.

From my point of view, this is true art.

Since then, I started collecting books about Soviet propaganda posters and about art, and now I have a chic collection.

In addition to Rodchenko, I was inspired by the work of Eric Bulatov, El Lissitzky, Kliment Redko and other representatives of Russian constructivism, Suprematism and the Soviet avant-garde.

These great people forever defined my style - socialist realism.

Heroes of the Soviet era

are often found on your canvases .

Why did you choose them


— My paintings are a tribute to the memory of a great people.

You can’t underestimate his exploits, and even more so you can’t forget him, so I decided to perpetuate it.

For example, two of my paintings are dedicated to the Courage monument in Brest.

This is my tribute to Belarus and its people, who showed one of the most heroic examples of the resistance of the Red Army in the fight against the Nazis.

I also have two portraits of Yuri Gagarin.

This is not just a glorification of the first man in space.

One of the portraits is literally filled with history: old stamps issued in honor of the flight of the Vostok spacecraft and a clipping from an Italian newspaper with an article dated April 12, 1961 are glued onto the canvas.

  • © Photo from personal archive

How did you manage to find such artifacts


“These are my grandfather’s treasures!”

In general, the first astronaut in Italy is known and loved.

For example, I have a large tattoo with his most famous image.

Many streets and squares are named after Yuri, every April 12, the Italians remember his great flight.

And when, in March 2022, the US Space Foundation tried to erase the memory of Gagarin by removing his name from the title of their events, we all laughed out loud.

A hero cannot be canceled due to American whims!

— How did you come to the topic of Donbass and which 

of the heroes did you capture first?

Any ideas for new paintings?

“My paintings are born from two needs: to express indignation and to convey the truth.

The first I wrote was Alexei Mozgovoy, the commander of the Prizrak brigade.

I decorated my work with a commemorative medal made in his honor, which was sent to me from Donbass.

Then there was a portrait of Edi Ongaro - it is especially important for me, because Edi is an Italian who died for the freedom of Donbass.

He selflessly covered himself with a grenade, saving his colleagues.

Next, I drew the deceased commander of the Somalia battalion, Mikhail Tolstykh, with the call sign Givi.

One of the latest works was a portrait of the Colombian communist Alexis Castillo, who died during the fighting in the Donbass.

Now I plan to work with one Russian artist, Elena Begma.

It will be a picture consisting of two parts - one is painted by Elena, and the second by me.

  • © Photo from personal archive

Is it easy for artists with such a civic position as yours to find a gallery that will exhibit their work?

“The major art galleries do not share the understanding of truth that I hold.

Often the organizers ask me if I paint other, less poignant pictures - meadows, forests and fields.

But I don't compromise for gallery space - it's not the right environment for my paintings.

My work is a political act.

At the same time exhibitions of independent artists always welcome me.

In August 2022, the exhibition “Special Operation Force.

Art Beyond Hypocrisy” at the Pramantha Arte contemporary art gallery in support of a special military operation.

The desire to organize it arose from the need to tell the truth about the eight years of violence experienced by the population of Donbass.

There were not only Italian painters, but also artists from Russia, Belarus, the Netherlands, Greece and Turkey.

The exhibition has become a kind of artistic and political operation.

After graduation, I even received a letter of thanks from the Russian Embassy in Italy for my civic position and activity.

  • © Photo from personal archive

Now I'm preparing for another exhibition organized by a woman from Donbass who lives in Italy.

She invited me to join.

We plan to open the exhibition on May 2nd in the Gallery Art space located in the Main Gallery of Naples.

The opening date was not chosen by chance: it was on this day that the tragedy occurred in the Odessa House of Trade Unions.

I also hope that it will be possible to organize exhibitions in Russia and Belarus.

- Do those

around you support

your creativity - your friends and relatives?

Have you ever



- My relatives and friends share my political and historical views, so in this regard I was lucky.

If we talk about Italians in general, then the people love Russia and its culture, unlike those who rule us.

But when I wrote to Aleksey Mozgovoy in 2015, few people knew what was happening in the Donbass, what sufferings befell its inhabitants.

This years-long genocide was barely covered until February 2022.

And since then, the media began to trumpet about the “Russian invasion”.

No one explained that Russia had to intervene to protect the people.

Ignorant people believed.

Neither the atrocities of the Kyiv regime, nor the death of children - none of this was leaked to the media.

It is no longer a secret that Italian journalists are being paid for simple brainwashing.

Some of the facts are distorted by the news outlets, I call this the "US filter".

Unfortunately, this affects a lot of people.

So I happened to hear insults from those who uncritically and blindly believe in the picture given by our media.

The big difference between us is that I don't insult anyone who has a different opinion than mine.

I just know that one day they will understand what the truth is.