Francisco Souto | Poetics of Despair
The fundamental preoccupation at the core of this body of work is the lack of empathy that pervades public life leading to conditions of increased brutality. It is an attempt to offer a voice to the unheard; it is about the people and their humanity in times of adverse reality.
These pieces were slowly conceived as direct response to current events and far removed from the autobiographical but rather connected to a political immediacy. They are an attempt to offer a collective experience of struggle and perseverance. They address the shared vision of humanity through their meticulous execution and their material vocabulary.
Making an art object with its aesthetics complexities takes time. There is an inherent power to this process that progressively embeds the content into the work. There is a symbiotic correlation between the making of the object and the intimacy in the act of looking.
It is through this material presence that art should be experienced; as a way of thinking through an image, a testimony of a life lived.
Francisco Souto is a Venezuelan-born American artist known for his highly detailed drawings and prints. He received his BFA from the Herron School of Art and his MFA from The Ohio State University. His current drawings are visual testimonies of the social and political reality that is eroding his native land. The fundamental preoccupation of these drawings is the lack of empathy that pervades public life leading to conditions of increased brutality. They offer a collective experience of struggle and perseverance. As the artist has written, “Art should be considered a way of thinking through an image, a testimony of a life lived”. Souto currently lives and works in Lincoln, Nebraska. His work has been exhibited and collected widely around the world and his accolades include more than 45 national and international awards and honors. As one art critic recently wrote about his recent drawings, “I have never seen anything quite like them in three decades of looking at and writing about art and consider them to be among the greatest artistic achievements to ever come out of Nebraska”
He was recently selected for the exhibition “State of the Art 2020: Discovering American Art Now” at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.