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States of Being: The Art Portfolio of Franck de las Mercedes

A painting incorporating elements of text and figureImperfect Symmetry, acrylic on canvas

Franck de las Mercedes is a New York-based Latino artist who uses a variety of media -- from traditional paint, to photography and writing -- to build works that address personal emotions and states of being as much as they do contemporary cultural issues. Franck’s works are unapologetically colourful, and packed with detail and meaning. 

A painting of an abstract shape on a black backgroundFor Your Third Eye Only, acrylic on fabric


I really like the way that Franck is able to work with such dense visuals, producing works that are easily identifiable from a distance, but that hold even more intrigue and detail when seen up close. Like Jeffrey Newman or Judy Southerland, the artist frequently incorporates text into his paintings, layering writing over figurative and abstract images to create a cohesive whole that implies a deeper narrative. 

A screen capture of Franck de las Mercedes' art


Franck’s recent series Negative Space showcases a slightly darker side to the artist’s work -- literally, as the images are produced on black backgrounds. The contrast between the artist’s psychedelic use of pigment and these backgrounds creates an aesthetic that’s rich and at times almost campy in its embrace of pure colour.

An abstract painting using blue hues and geometric linesSun Azul, acrylic on canvas

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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