Francisco G Pinzón Samper reimagines real life with “sweet honesty”

Working with a range of specific self-developed creative techniques, the artist sees creativity as a natural part of everyday life – and so their work reflects just that.

13 May 2021

When preparing their artworks, Colombian artist Francisco G Pinzón Samper doesn’t follow the advice of their peers in discipline, lifting a technique from the film industry instead. In the lead-up to committing to an idea the artist follows “the ‘range’ principle”, which details the capacity an actor has to play various different types of roles.

In the same way that you can never differentiate Daniel Craig from James Bond but Toni Collette is somehow a chameleon of characters, Francisco considers their own characters as if they were actors and their backgrounds as sets. Then, by considering the specific range of these counterparts – in terms of how they would or wouldn’t naturally act or appear – the scene Francisco wishes to paint becomes clear in their imagination. Building this narrative in their mind before starting a work allows the artist to continually be reassessing their own style too. “The limits are my style and my taste,” they explain, “but in between I like to play with what kind of work I would like to see in comparison to what I have made before.”

Inspired to become an artist by their mother, Francisco spent their childhood “painting and drawing by her side… and then I never stopped,” the artist tells It’s Nice That. A natural part of their day-to-day life, creating artworks offers a space of “introspection and meditation” for Francisco, as “it helps me live at ease with the rawness of reality,” says the artist. “Drawing and painting are practices of isolation. It reminds of the hermit in a set of tarot cards, being alone makes you confront yourself and find your inner light.”

The result is a practice Francisco describes as depictions of “sweet honesty”. Rather than wrap up their works in complicated artistic theory, the artist creates what appears naturally to them. “I draw what I love,” they add, “what catches my attention.” Likening this current era of creativity to “an artistic utopia” in which “creation doesn’t need to be necessarily explained”, the artist believes that “the freedom of visual language has been accepted.”


(Copyright © Francisco G Pinzón Samper, 2021)

In turn, Francisco’s works are broad in their subject matter. Their portraits (in a layered sketch-like style that reminds us of Marie Jacotey and Adriana Lozano) are able to evoke a sense of character in Francisco’s fluid approach to composition and in their varying colour palette. In other scenes, it’s a carefully illustrated detail that catches a viewer's eye. In one of our favourite pieces (top image) Francisco simply depicts the contents of a sink, full of dirty dishes from a bird's-eye view. Although an everyday scene, in their detailed shading it hints at whose sink this might be, and instantly conjures up an image of your own messy kitchen after lunch.

To create these pieces Francisco (unsurprisingly) tends to pull from what is around them at the time. “Most of my material is recycled, mostly cardboard or wood,” they explain. Atop this they’ll mostly use a mix of oil paint, watercolours, coloured pencils and oil pastels and the combination of these moving parts creates their own “formula” of “support + medium = image”. Again their range principle becomes the focus when the subject matter is being decided, but the artist will also consider moments from “real life, my imagination, collages and copying from my archives,” they explain. “I spend a lot of time curating images for things I might do in the future.”

With that in mind it’s worth noting that, despite the depth of their work, Francisco is in fact still a student, currently completing a programme at Beaux Arts de Paris. Here, the artist is developing where their work might go next. “I had a very interesting discussion two weeks ago with someone who told me that she saw me trying to balance a superficiality and spirituality in my work,” Francisco mentions when we ask what they might have planned. “This perspective on my work has brought some awareness to my practice and has inspired plans for a series of sculptural works that combine religious and hairdressing aesthetics,” – a combination only Francisco’s distinct artistic approach could bring to life.

Gallery(Copyright © Francisco G Pinzón Samper, 2021)

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(Copyright © Francisco G Pinzón Samper, 2021)

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About the Author

Lucy Bourton

Lucy (she/her) is the senior editor at Insights, a research-driven department with It's Nice That. Get in contact with her for potential Insights collaborations or to discuss Insights' fortnightly column, POV. Lucy has been a part of the team at It's Nice That since 2016, first joining as a staff writer after graduating from Chelsea College of Art with a degree in Graphic Design Communication.

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