The basic tenet of justice is that you’re innocent until proven guilty. Making his brash and bold return to New York City in his second U.S. show, Francois Bard presents his case with recent work at Bertrand Delacroix Gallery with the exhibition “Not Guilty”.
Arte Fuse traipsed the cordoned velvet rope last May 3, 2012 and acted as the jury for the latest offerings on view by this artist based in France. The collection of large canvasses depict the usual suspects of the glamorous and the notorious. In the photo-realistic rendering of his rogue gallery of characters that Bard gives it his knock out punch delivery. Whether it is a politician, a thug wielding a gun, prisoners being processed, royalty of the underworld or the bane of the upper echelons – Bard has an unerring eye to imbue life into his paintings.
Each in your face portrait or close up detail invites viewers to examine the story behind the façade. The icons being touted here are in the realm of the mundane, fantastical or notorious. Bard has the moment locked in paint and the underlying story makes his work more compelling. The furtive expressions or every creased line on the subject’s visage is paramount to the skill of the artist giving the depicted images their humanity. That is not a small feat and can be risky if one is not as skillful and a bold artist like Bard.
There is a narrative and also the deadly secret in each panel. Bard holds nothing back in depicting characters or snippets of a moment as stories left up to the viewer to create or decipher its mystery. Judgment is instantaneous for these silent cast who are either pleading or insistent that they’re not guilty. But they have no voice and only the viewer can articulate what Bard is unabashedly presenting in this show. There is the luxury to create the final sentence, which the pictures can only plead for your mercy.
So what’s the verdict? Francois Bard is definitely NOT GUILTY of shrouding the facts with this current series and heightens the naked truth of what constitutes a real crime. In art, when you deceive with gimmicks and stunts that you will be sentenced as a hapless victim of creative palsy. Case Closed.
Francois Bard: Not Guilty / On View: May 3 – June 2, 2012
Gallery Hours: Tuesday through Saturday (10 am to 6 pm)
Bertrand Delacroix Gallery. 535 West 25th Street. New York, NY 10001
article by: Oscar A. Laluyan