Robert Francian


Artist Statement

"The universal need for man's rational need to lift the inner and outer world into his spiritual consciousness as an object in which he recognizes again his own self" -Hegel

Leonardo wrote that a figure is worthy if it shows the passion of it's mind, and although he also said a woman should be painted with her knees pressed tightly together, the thought about passion is apt as far as my approach to figurative art is concerned‚ the thing about the knees very much less so. The paintings presented here are meant to speak of what it is to be human, images where we recognize again, our selves; an exploration of a journey of the psyche, the interplay between persona and vulnerability, and of desire which can never be fulfilled. The series, inspired by a poem 'when you look at something you've lost, you see a part of yourself that has become permanent', is a document of my journey through the fragility and fragmentation of the psyche, love, loss, vulnerability, anguish, and the fleeting, subtle, and sometimes indistinguishable differences between all of these things.

These paintings are like poems themselves. Their essential character should not be expected to be easy or literal, but rather have elements of the fictive and ulterior, and perhaps become somewhat difficult. To inspire and engage our thoughts, allusive and indirect images can coax our more complex thoughts and emotions into meaning, even without language, as in these paintings. Their essence, and purpose, is not necessarily to convey specific ideas or feelings but to create an environment of images that enable a tacit expression of the conflict, tensions, and substance of the visual experience. Titles and simple explanations, and statements for that matter, take the poetic experience away from the visual. They confine us and make us lazy.

As such, each image is meant to be a subtle reminder of an indeterminate moment in our thoughts. It may be one of pleasure or pain, love or loss, but is most likely all of them at once because that's who we are. Nothing can be lost until it has been found, and nothing is permanent until it has been lost.