Sunday, March 18, 2012

Michael Francis

Obstacle - 19.125 x 24.625 inches
My art review repost of a July 2011 show

When you see one artist with a style and particular unique perspective, you might pass this off as an interesting blip, but when you start seeing several artists with these same characteristics then you know you have a historically significant art movement on your hands. Michael Francis is in this undefined movement and lucky for you, he is showing at the Ro2 Art Uptown in the West Village through July 17th.

Michael Francis lets the paintings tell a story through his straight forward images.
He will not allow color to create a sentimental feeling that could mislead the viewer. His muted tones allow the paintings to eliminate a possible distraction so the narrative can start to form in our minds. . The real sentimental feeling comes
from his source of “old photos, faded tapestries, and worn out prints.” These lost images were devalued and discarded, but Francis returns these sources to their rightful place over that mantle to be re-framed as a new art object.

Michael is part of an art movement that has drained away colors to a muted tone which gives rise to the importance of the subject in the painting. In my last review, I noted that Benjamin Terry also paints in this style. However, he chose himself as the subject. Another such artist is Luc Tuymans, featured at the DMA last year. Tuymans uses popular political images to drive home his point of view. Just like an art movement, the artists have similar styles, but their approaches to the same ideas have quite a range. I could name a few more, but don’t want this turning into a manifesto.

Michael Francis grew up in Dallas, went to school at University of North Texas for a
BFA and Cranbrook Academy of Art (in Detroit) for his MFA-both in painting. As a member of 500X, his star is rising, so don’t miss his show at Ro2 Art Uptown.

For mor pictures seek out

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