Nashville, Tennessee
Contemporary Art Gallery

237 Rep. John Lewis Way N. 37219
Tuesday–Saturday 10:00 a.m. — 5:00 p.m.







Carlos Gomez De Francisco | Cactus Petals, Fluctuating Asymmetry, and Crimes of Passion

March 22-April 26, 2014
Opening Reception: April 5th, 6-9 pm
Across the Arts Fashion Week Event: April 4th, 7 pm

"I die innocent of all the crimes laid to my charge; I Pardon those who have occasioned my death; and I pray to God that the blood you are going to shed may never be visited on France. "  (Louis XVI)

Tinney Contemporary is pleased to present Cactus Petals, Fluctuating Asymmetry, and Crimes of Passion- Work by Carlos Gamez de Francisco.  The Cuban-borne artist's first solo exhibition in Nashville showcases his remarkable talent in a wide array of artistic mediums ranging from photography, oil painting, watercolor, and even video.  To dare enter into the entangled universe of Carlos Gamez de Francisco is both simultaneously astonishing and challenging.  The characters portrayed by Gamez de Francisco are creations that, through archetypes patiently built by the artist, reveal the dark spaces where vital philosophical problems coexist beyond any historical reference, highlighting essential traits of human nature such as, arrogance, selfishness, greed, stubbornness and triviality.  These complex issues are exemplified through Gamez de Francisco's Louis XVI series, wherein he uses figures with highly stylized Louis XVI era costumes as an acute allegory, likening Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette's failed escape attempt and resulting imprisonment to the imminent need for change in Cuban society.

Immigrating to the United States from Cuba at the age of twenty-one, Gamez de Francisco's arrival in Louisville in 2009 has profoundly impacted the work he has since produced. His internship at the Museum of Muhammad Ali, where he worked for a year, opened the doors to the controversial universe of Louis XVI. Soon, the inexperienced King, wasteful and eccentric, whose death symbolized the end of the French monarchy and the beginning of the revolution in the midst of the terror that characterized France during those years, became the central motif in his work.

The image of the last bourbon monarch who ruled France became an icon for the thirst for power, decadence and extravagant lifestyle that came at the cost of the people he represented. Gamez de Francisco appropriates the wardrobe and the portrait as symbols of both power and opulence. The patterns of fashion, largely dictated by the strict laws of wardrobe from the Court of Versailles, mark an iron distinction between classes and are observed to the extreme detail in each of his canvases and photographs. These psychological portraits of courtesan life mark an interest in the confrontation between the haughty attire and the interior fragility of the characters, using fashion and its flaws as a means of seducing the spectator and then making them conscious.

Carlos Gamez de Francisco was born in 1987 in Holguin, Cuba and now lives in Louisville, Kentucky.  As a fine artist, film-maker and illustrator of books, he has received numerous awards and has exhibited extensively nationally, and in Cuba and Spain. His 2011 solo exhibition, "Cuban Now", took place at the 21C Museum, Louisville, Kentucky.  Following the exhibition, the 21C Museum purchased a large number of his pieces for the museum's permanent collection. Gamez de Francisco's works are also in the Polanco collection in Havana, Cuba as well as private collections in the United States, Spain, Cuba, Ecuador, Italy, Argentina, Costa Rica and Mexico.