Colorful, wispy, and dreamlike are three words that only begin to describe Ian Francis’ new solo-exhibition, “The Call of the Void.” Ian Francis is a mixed-media artist, using acrylic, oil, charcoal, and ink in his work. Francis uses each medium in order to create a style that incorporates both abstract and figurative images. By mixing two different kinds of styles, Francis is able to create paintings that depict a world that seems familiar, yet supernatural. Francis is invested in depicting the world in his own way within his paintings and commenting on the way in which people interact with the growing world of technology.
Francis’ exhibition, “The Call of the Void,” explores the relationship between people and animals as they both inhabit the earth. We are currently living in a time of great environmental stress, as we are trying to mend our relationship with nature and stop the degradation which has been caused by humans. Francis’ exhibition is commenting on that relationship, depicting a world where humans are interacting with artificial, reconstructed forms of natural elements.
Francis’ painting, “A Group of People Try to Communicate With a New Artificial Whale,” depicts a scene that appears to be a dystopian aquarium. A whale is painted, coming out of darkness, with its ribcage showing, as people point and stare at it. The people are trying to communicate with the whale, as they point and crouch down at it. The whale appears to be almost mechanical, since the ribcage is shown, alluding to the idea that it is not a natural whale. The whale is also painted with the same colorful and wispy lines that the people are painted with. Perhaps to point out the connection between people and their artificial creations, even though in the painting, they are separated by the aquarium glass. Francis’ painting allows the viewer to reflect on the relationship between humans and nature and assess whether it is positive or negative.
Each painting in Francis’ exhibition, “The Call of the Void,” shares the theme of artificial nature and human interaction, as each painting tells its own unique story. For those interested in seeing more of the exhibition, “The Call of the Void” is currently on view at the Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles, and will be on view through October 26.