Painters 2017

Frans Bianchi

It was intriguing to watch how the figurative artists painted their own interpretation of the same scenery. With his primal colour palette and strong outlines, Frans Bianchi’s output was by far the boldest. An adherent of the French School of Expressionism, Frans is also a follower of the Fauvist movement. Jason Berger (1924 – 2010), a prominent American plein air artist was a close friend and mentor. He says “Jason changed my life, he taught me how to paint and his philosophy about art resonated with me.”

Frans still carries himself with the deportment of his earlier life in Drug Enforcement. Always cheerful, he regaled his audience with stories of his previous career working in Holland’s insalubrious underbelly. His joyful optimism and humour resonate through his art. He says he can never be too serious about his work. “It should always be a combination of hard work and good fun.” He explains how, whilst painting in Lamu Square, he was inspired to include the word ‘paradise’ on the green walls of the kiosk – as that was how he felt at that moment.

He admits that people are sometimes overwhelmed by his fauvist interpretation, but he says that it is much more important to be himself in his painting rather than make a pretty piece of art. “In my opinion it is very important to make choices. First I think about what pleases me and then how can I show that to the outside world.” Frans is a confident, driven painter. With innate instinct for composition, he describes his style as on the edge of abstract and figurative.

A devotee of painting en plein air, Lamu clearly suited Frans’ artistic approach. He was comfortable painting the bustling beach full of boats and obviously loved the hustle and bustle of Lamu Town. His canvases, filled with vibrant shapes delineated in a bold outline, were a striking addition to the walls of Baitil Aman.

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