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Through cynicism and belligerent play, Jake Francis embodies the spirit of a snake oil salesman.
Begrudging the role of ‘art’ and its institutions in society, he unashamedly exploits the cliches and tropes associated, using them as signposts to negotiate his way through art’s gilded corridors.
By using ready-made objects and appropriated imagery, his work toys with preconceived structures and endeavours to reconcile personal, social, and trivial issues with simultaneous wit and purposeful ignorance. Reassessing the established totems of domestic and cultural significance, Jake offers the viewer ‘semi-recognisable’ souvenirs of his enigmatic play and productive resentment; a disparate befuddling of sculpture, installation, and collage.
By analysing the stereotypes of art as ‘freedom’ and artist as the ‘misunderstood romantic’, Jake reduces high culture down into a set of mere visual quips; a homage to the world it continuously mocks. It is within this middle ground of aesthetic folly and degradation that the artist’s existential aggravation is transformed into brief moments of cathartic relief; a Devil’s advocate with a slim silver lining.
In short, Jake Francis is perhaps best placed as the classic playground bully - pulling on the pigtails of the girl he, quite ashamedly, has a soft spot for.