Francis Denis is a semi-professional French painter. Presented here are a small collection of his recent works that consider gesture and form as one.
Francis' abstract figurative paintings evolve around the singe theme of emotion. Everything in these mysterious works is centred around the humble and sad angst that the figures portray. How Francis does this is quite spectacular.
Set on a single tone backdrop, an immediate mood is set by the colour of these bold platforms. Dark and morose in colour, they instantly trap the viewer in a pictorial depression. The colour selection for the figures themselves is also wonderfully tragic; deep blues and pastel reds swirl to create form from seemingly, at first, misguided strokes.
Within the style there is very much a Picasso distortion going on; yet held to a slightly stronger sense of realism. The expressive brushwork uses contrasting tones and the white outline of his subjects creates an almost collage-like aesthetic.
Perhaps most encaptivating though, are the gestures created by the hands and supported by a twisting skull. These hands are raised in shock, uncertainty and allude to a terrible accident. The forlorn, devastating facial expressions in their uncomfortable colours support this.
It is the facial expressions that draw a human response from the viewer and yet Francis' subjects refuse this bare exposure. Rarely do the sitter's eyes meet the viewer, preferring instead to avert their gaze, perhaps through guilt or grievance.
Francis' paintings leave many questions unanswered but allow for a playful and engaging guessing game for the viewer.
( FALLY RAG )