Art and design go hand in hand and I’ve been fortunate to work with many talented artists through the years, both curating pieces for my design clients and for the rotating art exhibits in my Buckingham Interiors + Design Showroom in Chicago.
One of my absolute favorite installations in my Showroom still to this day is this gallery wall by Chicago-based Artist Francine Turk.
Francine Turk breaks the rules of constraint. As artist and visionary behind Francine Turk Studio, Turk seamlessly blends thoughtful beauty with the dramatically raw and vulnerable nuances of life. Her artwork stems from a constant excavation of her truth and is revealed as a layered expression of emotion and discovery, evoking a connective and visceral response from the viewer.
In its layered complexities and juxtapositions, she expresses this embodiment of her artwork as both delicate marks of charcoal on paper and fearless representations of what it means to be a rebel, a forger of one’s own path.
Turk is influenced and inspired by great artists like Picasso and Matisse yet compared to contemporaries like confessional artist, Tracy Emin. She also draws inspiration from musicians like Jimi Hendrix and Jack White, who, in Turk’s eyes, have been fearless in their pursuit of personal truth. Given the complexity of influences and her own highly expressive and layered technique, she is not compelled to confine her work to a particular genre.
Much in demand by collectors worldwide, Turk’s acclaimed works are housed in private and corporate collections across the globe. Her most well received solo exhibitions include Bad Ass (2011), A Decade of Evolution (2012) and Verite (2014). She has been part of group exhibitions alongside Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro, Andy Warhol, Helen Frankenthaler, Marlene Dumas and the like.
I recently reached out to Francine to discover she was “headquartered” in Barcelona for the month of June! I was instantly wishing I was back in Spain as well taking day trips to the countryside. We certainly share our love of travel and inspiration!
Francine was in Spain for continued inspirations for the “Love Letter to A Matador” series. For the first time ever, Francine sent a private invitation to collectors to be a part of this journey by purchasing work created in Spain that would mark the beginnings of an upcoming solo show. A limited number of “site unseen” pieces were made available to collectors only as a presale and quickly sold out within days. It was a true exercise in gratitude to thank collectors for supporting her over the years as the pieces were made available for a fraction of the market value.
Picasso has always been a huge influence on Francine’s work and this trip was no exception- especially his “bous” (bull) studies. She named each of the 27 sold works in Catalan. She was influenced by cubist and expressionist styles using charcoal, ink and oil sticks. The culture in Barcelona was also a huge influence on this series. Back alleys hosted a variety of street performers, opera singers and men fighting with fire at every turn. She created bous and matadors with undertones of romance, mystery, sex and masculinity.
Francine stayed in the gothic quarter where graffiti was prevalent and influential. She visited a flea market acquiring ledger books, antique hand written letters and vintage postcards, which she used as the background for thank you notes to her collectors. She enclosed this personalized note with each piece and shipped the work in drawing tubes from Barcelona.
Follow along Francine’s entire journey on Instagram (@francineturk) and at www.francineturk.com.
An upcoming exhibit of Francine’s work will be in the Buckingham I+D Showroom. Stay tuned!