Michael Francis
at Ro2 Art  Uptown through on July 17
by Todd Camplin

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.
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Stephanie in the Woods - oil on canvas - 56 x 68 inches.
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.  
"Frankie's Tunnel" - oil on canvas - 60 x 64 inches.
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.

Obstacle - 19.125 x 24.625 inches
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.

Ro2 Art UPTOWN at West Village
3699 McKinney Ave. #310, Dallas, TX 75204
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Todd Camplin
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