It is big, it is bold, it is full of joy and it is passionate. It is Franko’s art. Paul Franklin, alias Franko, is an Australian abstract and pop artist based on the beautiful Scenic Rim in South-East Queensland.
Franko’s art falls loosely into four genres; abstract, urban pop, industrial pop and abstract realism. His art moves fluently between different materials, elements and textures without ever compromising his love of colour, his infectious joy or his sense of adventure.
“I always look for a balance in the design of my art and with analytical structure (really, I mean chaos!) and I normally paint with lots of texture. I also love colour. Depending on my moods and inspiration, the outcome could be of realistic in nature, or totally abstract. Some of it will be naughty, and some simply designed to try and bring about a smile. I’ve learnt not to take life too seriously as no one gets out alive,” Franko said. “I use a variety of mediums in my work, from acrylics and oils to using pencil, crayons and some amazing products that make my abstracts ‘pop’.”
Franko’s art has many references and elements of urban, modern and human nature. He has spoken of the visual world that we live in and the constant flow of imagery at an unprecedented speed and how that has affected his art. “I’d love to know the statistic comparisons of how many ‘objects’ we are exposed to today, as opposed to 50 years ago. So, I draw a lot of inspiration from the daily bombardment that comes from TV, the internet, even words in a song I might be listening to,” he described.
“I’d like to boast that everything I do is ‘original’. However, like mashed and remixed tunes and movies with borrowed concepts and effects, I believe most artists have influences and borrow aspects from other artists. It might be as simple as a colour scheme, or the way a medium is used. I believe the concept of ‘recycling’ goes further than just trash,” Franko said about influences. “I love the form of artists like Andy Warhol and David Bromley. Pop Artist Leroy Neiman is perhaps the point of greatest inspiration for my work. Colour! Yes!!”
Life and art are full of contradictions and one cannot help but be intrigued by the fact that this energetic, sometimes chaotic and quirky art has been created in the quietest, most serene of surroundings. “As I sit here and write this, the only sounds are the gentle whirl of the fan in my laptop, gentle breeze thru the trees and birds singing their songs,” Franko said about his home and studio. “Being out here in the middle of 160 acres frees my mind. The creation process on canvas comes most easily when everything is uncluttered, with fewest moving parts.”
“I am passionate about all things in life,” the self-confessed art addict said. “After almost 10 years of doing this full-time, it’s still like the most wonderful hobby. Every day I walk down to the studio [and] I pinch myself that I get to do this everyday. Life would be very different if I didn’t paint.”