The Pro Compositions: Tiara Unique Francois
On view: January 22 - February 13, 2022
Reception: Saturday, January 29th from 7-10 pm
500X is proud to present The Pro Compositions, a solo exhibition by Tiara Unique Francois in our Project Space. Francois is the Juror’s Choice Award winner for the Black Voices juried exhibition during our 2020-2021 Season.
“I am interested in layers. Layers of transparent paint to build brown skin, layers of paper and laser cut wood and shadows and black women and girls and hair products stacking on top of each other, layers of black culture and familial history and the unspoken language of personal style.
Layers of people.
I am interested in what materials communicate, the weight they hold historically and narratively. Watercolor is the totality of softness and natural beauty. Watercolor is pretty and romantic. We paint flowers and fruit and landscapes; things that can exist without reason. With watercolor I’m exploring the rendering of black women, girls, the persons who must continually explain their presence. Black women and girls are often seen and othered before there is even a thought of attempt to understand. Loud and bold and strong and independent and sassy and ghetto and angry, but never soft and fragile or quiet and sad. Watercolor holds a delicate weight that is the direct opposite of the perception that is commonly held about black women. With India ink and black paint, I’m exploring lines and shapes and silhouettes. Black ink applied with calligraphy pens and paint brushes to imitate natural hair texture, to create box braids and hairstyles that take the shape of sculptures. Images of black women, young girls and hair products are placed on top of each other in a collage with no framed border. A composition meant to shift; individual images placed together to form a new whole.
The Pro Compositions, I’m thinking about this idea of creation. How we, as black women, learned how to do our hair and the hair of our children and create these iconic styles with water, gel, grease and holding spray. Kitchen and living room beauticians creating such vibrant expression, through hair. Becoming pros at the craft, with no formal learning. Some women went to beauty school, but not all. There is something so sincere and golden, innovative and simply artistic about black hair being crafted in such a specific way. There is love and skill and pride in black women’s hair. These are The Pro Compositions.”
The gallery is open Saturdays and Sundays 12-5 with no appointments required.