Description This work is part of a series titled, The Thread Paintings. I have been working on this series since Fall of 2003. The artwork delicately rests on the line between the ridged, graphic elements of design and the expressive, painterly brush strokes of Abstract Expressionism.
Nick Franco, Oak Park, IL Member Since July 2008 Artist Statement Biography:
I grew up in the southwestern city of El Paso, Texas. From early childhood, I was drawn to art making and creative expression. But when I left to attend college, it was with the desire to become a Graphic Designer. While attending Colorado State University, I became so inspired by the experimental, personalized work being created in the painting department that I switched concentrations.
It was in my senior year at Colorado State that I first began experimenting with abstraction in nature and a more free form, subjective style of painting. In 2000, I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in Painting. In 2005, I received my Teacher Certification from Rio Salado College in Arizona. I am fully endorsed in Art & Second Language Instruction.
I have spent the last ten years exhibiting my artwork in galleries in Colorado, Texas, and Arizona. I also curate a gallery space in El Paso, Texas for emerging artists. For two years I served as the Artist in Residence in Painting & Drawing for the City of Phoenix, Arizona. I went on to instruct elementary students throughout Arizona. After six years in the classroom, I decided to pursue a Masters degree in Art.
I am currently enrolled in the Masters of Art Education program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
I have been exploring a style of artwork titled the Thread Paintings since the fall of 2003. It began as a way to juxtapose two conflicting influences—the ridged, graphic elements of design with the painterly brushwork of Abstract Expressionism. Both influences are equally represented within the series, yet each painting possesses its own personality. Medium, surface, paint application, & color scheme all vary from piece to piece.
The very first Thread Paintings were assigned chronological numbers, so their meaning was left up to the viewer. The Thread Paintings are now given a one-word title, which ties together the formal and conceptual qualities of each piece. The lines rise above the painting and twist into abstract forms, or threads. The thick, ornate threads are likened to trees or roots, while the more tenuous threads resemble chords, lightning, and even wisps of smoke. Often overlapping across the surface, the threads create organic shapes. The shapes divide up backgrounds of aggressive paint application, stained colors, and solid forms.
Explorations within the medium and surface have yielded a variety of results. Oil paint’s consistency produces texture and vibrancy within the threads. Acrylic and watercolor can stain the surface and overlap background color. Watercolor paper provides an immediacy to paint application, with the threads and background converging across a single layer. Canvas and linen support thicker threads and a greater character of brushwork.
Each Thread Painting must be viewed as a single piece of a larger puzzle. The approach to each work may differ, but the philosophy remains the same. These are all meditative, Abstract designs being held together by the tightest of threads.