John Franzen

Biography

(b. 1981, Germany)
Currently lives and works in Maastricht

John Franzen was born in 1981 in Germany. At the age of six, Franzen and his mother moved to Belgium, where he grew up in three alternative hippie communes. The single child of parents who both worked as nurses and had regular night shifts, Franzen discovered drawing in his childhood as a way to pass time alone and it was through these early experiences that his search for an existential meaning of life took root. After graduating from the Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts, Franzen continued to stay in Maasthricht where he now lives and works. He has exhibited widely in solo and group exhibitions internationally including in France, Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Hong Kong. In 2016, Franzen was awarded the first prize for Sculpture for the International Emerging Artist Award in Dubai, UAE.

Through drawing and sculpture, Franzen conducts an ongoing artistic investigation on cosmology through the deconstruction of the physical, the spiritual and the existential. In his current four-part project, “Existential Abstracts,” Franzen deconstructs primal functions of life, namely to ‘breath,’ to ‘feel,’ to ‘see,’ and to ‘think.’ “Each Line One Breath” is the first of this exploratory chapter, taking the lungs as its starting point, and the breath as its element.

Existentialism speaks of existence before essence—the notion that humans are born with no purpose to life and it is up to the individual to seek meaning. Franzen draws upon his own physicality in his search for his answer, and in doing so, endeavours to measure the universe and creation itself. Further to the philosophical, his investigations are informed by theories of astrophysics and quantum physics, to spiritual consciousness and Daoism. His cognitive approach to measuring the macrocosm brings Franzen’s art into the realm of the renowned 1950s and 60s avant-garde ZERO art movement, which began in Germany under the leadership of artists Heinz Mack, Otto Piene and Günther Uecker.

Artworks

John Franzen, Creation is Destruction - Big Axe Plate N° 1, 2015, 1 hour axe on polished 2mm brass plate, 100x200 cm, at Parkview Art Hong KongCreation is Destruction – Big Axe Plate N° 1
2015
1 hour axe on polished 2mm brass plate
100×200 cm

 

John Franzen, Creation is Destruction - Big Shooting Plate N° 1, 2015, Remington model 31 shotgun on polished 2mm brass plate, 100x200 cm, at Parkview Art Hong Kong

Creation is Destruction – Big Shooting Plate N° 1
2015
Remington model 31 shotgun on polished 2mm brass plate
100×200 cm

 

John Franzen, Each Line One Breath - Black Sphere, 2017, white ink on paper, 80x80 cm, at Parkview Art Hong Kong

Each Line One Breath – Black Sphere
2017
White ink on paper
80×80 cm

 

John Franzen, Each Line One Breath, 2017, ink fineliner on paper, 70x100 cm, at Parkview Art Hong KongEach Line One Breath
2017
Ink fineliner on paper
70×100 cm

 

John Franzen, Each Line One Breath, 2017, ink fineliner on paper, 100x200 cm, at Parkview Art Hong KongEach Line One Breath
2017
Ink fineliner on paper
100×200 cm

 

John Franzen, Each Line One Breath - Black Copper, 2017, Mixed media on copper anodized aluminium, 80x122 cm, at Parkview Art Hong KongEach Line One Breath – Black Copper
2017
Mixed media on copper anodized aluminium
80×122 cm

 

John Franzen, Each Line One Breath - Hemisphere, 2016, ink fineliner on paper, 100x100 cm, at Parkview Art Hong Kong

Each Line One Breath – Hemisphere
2016
Ink fineliner on paper
100×100 cm

 

John Franzen, Each Line One Breath - Sphere, 2017, ink fineliner on paper, 80x80 cm, at Parkview Art Hong Kong

Each Line One Breath – Sphere
2017
Ink fineliner on paper
80×80 cm

 

 

For more enquires about available artworks, please contact the gallery.