Studio Visit with Ke Francis

Ke Francis is a narrative artist who has been actively producing artwork for more than fifty years. 
Ke says, “I have chosen to work with themes and subjects that are familiar to me. I am a well traveled and well educated American. I have recorded images and stories from my travels and they are the raw materials of my narrative work. I think it would come as no surprise to find that these compiled notes, sketches, and photographs which are my visual backlog vary in quantities that are directly proportional to the time I have spent in any region. I feel comfortable using any of this first-hand information (since I compiled it) but it is obvious that since I have spent the majority of my time in the southeastern United States the art is most reflective of that environment. I have tried to create work that would be of interest to the broadest range of viewers (and readers) and still meet my aesthetic criteria.
While my work naturally springs from the most available visual resources I also attempt to integrate concepts and images that have been passed down from us from a variety of cultural sources. These concepts and images are part of our collective human heritage and are a shared part of the twenty-first century experience. It is the integration of these collective ideas, along with the use of first – hand regional idioms, and personal environmental references that makes my work American.
I believe in the art experience. I believe it is possible, even probable, that reading books, experiencing plays, viewing good art, and listening to beautiful music can make a person a more complete and empathetic human being. I believe that experiences can be shared, emotions expressed and understood, and that these communications offer us insights into the human condition and increase both our tolerance and our appreciation of our fellow humans.
“I do what the work tells me to do. When a work is successful, it is because I’ve managed to get out of the way. ”
-Ke Francis
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