Francesco João’s practice indulges in the ambivalence of the pictorial method, stressing the duality between the immediacy, and the over-complexity of the medium. Immersed in a constantly-changing, hyper-evolving loop of reconfiguration, the medium of painting enduringly affirms its substance both through historical legitimation and through the confrontation against fast-disseminated images adhering to the sphere of the digital.
The complexity of this specific gesture-painting finds its reflection in Joao’s work, where the image is produced through the use of a complex schema of juxtaposed layers, which let forms emerge through subtraction. Delving deep into the calibrated tangibility of the canvas, Joao’s gesture is oriented towards the production of images functioning as ideas. The immediacy–say, the innocence–of painting is the actual core on which Francesco Joao’s work is grounded. In other words, his ability to deliver meaning without many formal obstacles, whilst also being self-conscious when investigating the nature of the medium itself.
The canvases produced by the artist in these last years consist of an elaboration of a visual language that is disruptive in its sensuality and rawness. Gradient palettes and dreamy textures murmur secrets of escapism, forgotten horizons, and rarefied galaxies, where layers and layers of gouache protect from the gaze of the viewer. In João’s work, the coalescence of the enigmatic and the pragmatic is tangible, as it is the association of simple, direct scenarios with extra-complications that often hijack the linearity of his paintings. This dualism triggers the idyllic mystery that is latent in Joao’s production– that feeling of ethereal fascination when facing the large panels wrapped in raw canvas.
Francesco João (Milan, 1987) lives and works in São Paulo. His exhibitions include Donkey Man, Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo (2017); Everything tends to ascend. Or not., Pivô, Sao Paulo (2016); Summertime ’78, Kunsthalle São Paulo, Sao Paulo (2015); Nimm’s Mal Easy, Ausstellungsraum Klingental, Basel (2015), Extra DRY, Peep Hole/DRY, Milan (2014), Dizionario di Pittura, Galleria Francesca Minini, Milan (2014), The Opposite of the Opposite Opposite of the Opposite, Gasconade, Milan (2012).