Francis invades your personal space and you find yourself okay with it. Within 4 minutes he's touching your hand or removing the hairs that have fallen in your face much like a lover or longtime friend. He recounts his life story, replete with loss of loves and conquering of fears, with guileless tears falling from his eyes, but he doesn't want your pity. He'll tell you the same story 3 days later as if he'd never told it before in his life. He doesn't give a fuck; and he cares so much.
This is a Francis painting: palpable passion and gestural madness, which culminate in a studied, elegant, dynamic canvas. Every stroke is measured and intentional, conspiring to create an extravagent image of impressive detail and allure. Francis' paintings literally leap off the canvas. Echoing qualities of Picasso and Dali's extravagent style, Francis' work refutes the mundane and executes the extradorinary.
All of Francis Mesaros' work takes place over an ocean. Consumed by the reflections of the water, he begs us to frolick naked at twilight— better yet, midnight. Towards the water that beckons you to bare your trembling soul, as Francis does his.
Francis chooses to sculpt with oil paints. His sole tools are palette knives; in his hands they are the perfect instrument to portray the energy of the sea and they are the only instrument that allow him to spontaneously depict his feelings as they run through him. Once he starts a painting, he won’t stop until its done. Not to sleep, not to eat. If he leaves the painting the energy will shift and he can’t afford that. His ability to capture the intricacy and depth of color in his work come from a controlled frenzy of the senses, a paradox which, he insists, is absolutely intuitive.
Mesaros was 11 years old when he started drawing everything that he saw. The first thing he drew was in 1956: a replica of an advertisement of the wrigley speriment gum man. At age 13 a mason came to the house and saw the pieces on the kitchen table that he'd drawn and asked him to draw a picture of two pheasants taking off from corn field with oil pastels. The mason bought it off him for $30; which was $30 more than Mesaros was asking.
Francis finally decided to share his work with the public via Asher Neiman gallery now, after 40 years of painting:
The director [of Asher Neiman Gallery] had an energy and vision that was harmonious with mine. And I'm bored with what I see. Things don't make sense, the future is unknown, and I don't want to die with my song inside me."
- Francis Mesaros