Franciscus & Franciscus are the joined forces of artist F. Franciscus (1959, Utrecht, the Netherlands) and graphic designer Rienus Gündel Franciscus (1967, Dordrecht, the Netherlands). Hans Memling (Seligenstadt, circa 1430-40 – Brugge, 1494) was the first painter who used backgrounds behind his painted models. The portrayed were almost always depicted holding a small object in their hands. The hands were painted as if they were leaning on the painting’s frame. This surreal atmosphere intrigued F. Franciscus. In 2010 he started painting a series of portraits after Memling. By carefully putting together the raw photographic material shot as study material for these painted images, the first two photo portraits arose. On these, the gentlemen themselves are depicted.
During a work visit in New York in February and March 2012, Mr. and Mr. Franciscus developed the idea to make these photographic portraits as autonomous art works. The first was shot in Manhattan, New York City. They portrayed a young red headed man, their New York trainee, and as background they used a view over the West Village taken from the Mondriaan loft (Dutch Mondriaan Fund), where the gentlemen were staying for that occasion.
Back in Amsterdam, they created a whole series of these photographic portraits with the working title of ‘Digital studies after Memling’. The series is still growing today. The combination of ‘painting’ with digital tools, 16th century portraiture, precise embellishment and razor-sharp details results in surreal images. The works are hard to date, but they breathe a nostalgic atmosphere. The photos have an enchantingly awkward touch and are made with such care that each one of them is an artwork in itself. ‘After Memling’ by Franciscus & Franciscus represents an attempt to re-invent classic 19th and 20th century portrait photography.rienus.info/franciscusenfranciscus.php