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Presented by BFA Visual & Critical Studies

The Still Small Voice of ???

Recent work by Pete Franzen
February 22 - May 3, 2021
A painting of a man in bed with his head and feet peeking out from under a blue blanket. A clown sits at his feet with a knife.

Pete Franzen, Grandpa Willie, 2020, acrylic painting on wood.

BFA Visual & Critical Studies and the Flatiron Project Space present “The Still Small Voice of ???,” a virtual exhibition of recent paintings by Pete Franzen (BFA 2013 Visual & Critical Studies). To view the exhibition, click here.


Franzen writes about the work:


I want anyone to be able to approach my paintings and build a relationship with them. That’s why I go for images that are uncluttered and recognizable. They are meant to invite anyone in to interpret or explore, but they are, at the same time, a very private alphabet of my own feelings and experiences. My pictures express my own fantasies (fears and desires) related to my life and our shared world. I use images relating to pleasure, friendship, sexuality and compassion, as well as masculinity, power, nihilism, apocalypse, fear and humiliation. For me, the pictures have hidden orders that tell multiple, co-existing stories all at once. Cruelty and suffering are depicted alongside symbols that represent for me the determination for uncompromising embrace of our common humanity.


I enjoy the process of putting something so idiosyncratic and personal into an image that anyone feels they can “get” or interpret through their own experiences. The spirit with which I approach painting is wanting to experiment with the possibilities as well as impossibilities of being fully understood by others. 


Franzen is a graduate of the BFA Visual & Critical Studies, a visual artist, mental health counselor and caregiver. He writes, “Painting is how I take care of myself; I work at my desk in my apartment in Portland, Maine.”


For further information or questions about the work please contact Pete Franzen:  pierwolffranzen@gmail.com.

Free and open to the public