Franc Kaiser is a self-taught Swiss painter residing in Shanghai, China. Franc paints with acrylics on cardboard substrates. Each painting starts with an idea and sketch, and the composition is then penciled on a cardboard. The paintings progress in several stages, from a build-up of basic values with acrylic paint to detailed layers, which can take days or weeks. The finished paintings are signed and varnished.
Franc often paints ugly cats, in a realistic depiction, with 10% surreal elements thrown in the mix. He is inspired by the feel of 1970s sci-fi illustrations. He feels that the paintings are a necessity for him – visual motives, ideas, and messages pop up manifold throughout the day, and he needs to paint them to cleanse his mind. He tends to explore the ruthlessness of biology whilst avoiding any romanticizing of nature. Although he is a foreigner living in China, Asian or Chinese design elements are rarely found in his work – the subjects express just that “fish out of water” allegory. His daily feeling and experience of living in a different, alien culture and context reflects in both fascination and fear, opportunity and shortcomings, and brood behind the surface of his paintings. Franc’s first international exhibitions were at the Corey Helford Gallery, Los Angeles, at group shows in 2020 and 2021. Currently he is preparing for a mini-solo show with the same gallery, opening in August 2021.