WORKS ON PAPER

CARLOS FRANCO

HAREMS, MEALS, BLACK HOLES AND DIARY OF THE HIDDEN ONE LEG FIGHT AGAINST HIM GOLDEN STAPHYLOCOCCO

 

The Galeria Miguel Marcos focuses the attention of its new exhibition on  Carlos Franco's (Madrid, 1951) drawing. The drawing appears as a research space to perceive internal time and as an instantaneous expression of ideas, feelings, obsessions and some –many– irreverent fantasies. It is an ideal material to delve into the complex mechanisms of the creation of Carlos Franco, who works with the idea of ​​a sketch as his final work.

 

Oriental chimaeras abound in this exhibition: references to drawing as a movement that breathes; or the harems, those pictorial places that respond to the tradition created by Ingres with his Odalisque or the engravings of the Vollard Suite by Picasso. The Yantar appears, not as a nutritional allegation, but as a pure pleasure of taste that also recalls Manet's "Le déjeneur sur l'herbe". In contrast, the experience of an accident that brought him close to death motivates the capture of medical technology on paper, with its machines, screws and medicines, which serve as a structure and inspiration for the drawing.

 

The “Harems” and “Meals” series,  based on the presence of classical mythology and Spanish surrealism, guidelines from its Mediterranean culture.  Through its iconography it shows a style of singularity. 

 

In the “Harems” -in the words of the artist himself- “the artist creates a place, as a pictorial genre, the intimacy of the prisoners and the atmosphere of friendship between them presenting contrasts with the situation of domination”. The pictorial tradition cannot be ignored, represented by Ingres and addressed by Picasso in Suite 156 or by Cézanne in his famous painting The Great Bathers.

 

Regarding “Meals”, in the banquets drawn by Carlos Franco, nothing seems platonic. Beyond the clouds and diamond sparkles, pure pleasure is represented, in need of concentration. Somehow, the artist recalls the luxury of Paolo Veronese's Marriage at Canameals and Manet's delight in simple picnics.

 

The ink drawings series “Black Holes” mark the passage from the soft oriental brush to the blunt tip of widely used brushes. The reference for these pieces is oriental drawing, with its instance and direct understood as the movement that breathes.

 

The latest series is “Diary of the hidden one-legged fight against Staphylococcus aureus”.Aristotle said: "Equally in suffering and tears, there is also a certain pleasure because the pain is in the lack and the pleasure in the memory". Carlos Franco recreates his accident from an underlying perspective as the root of the visible. Colour allows escaping from the present for the artist and the viewer. Medical technology, its gadgets and medicines bring an uneasy inspiration for a striking drawing that explodes in colour. According to Carlos Franco, "The experience of a long medical treatment can configure for the patient a version of reality that allows him to transcend it".

 

Carlos Franco has mastery of plastic expression backed by a long career, where landscape and figure form a unit, inspired by classical culture but undeniably contemporary. Among his projects, the decoration of the facade of the Real Casa de la Panadería stood out in the Plaza Mayor of Madrid between 1989-1992, awarded by competition. In 2007 the MNCARS (Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía) organized a sample of his graphic work to be exhibited at the Silos Monastery in Burgos and later the great Exhibition of his Generation in which he held central importance. His presence at art fairs has been regular and now held in Art Taipei 2022 (Taiwan).

 

His work is part of museums and public collections such as: MNCARS (Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía), Madrid; Collection of Contemporary Art "La Caixa", Barcelona; Chirivella Soriano Collection, Valencia; Contemporary Art Collection of the Royal Collections, Madrid; ICO Collection (Official Credit Institute), Madrid; ARTIUM MUSEUM, Vitoria; Elion Collection, Beijing and Chens Art Gallery, Taipei (Taiwan); Ana Serratosa Collection, Valencia, among many others.