Billis Williams Gallery is pleased to present Proof of Life (Part 5), the gallery’s fourth solo exhibition of paintings by Southern California painter Francis DiFronzo. Proof of Life (Part 5) is the 5th installment in DiFronzo’s serial exhibition contemplating what the future of humanity looks like. The exhibition opens with an artist reception on June 10th and continues through July 8th.
DiFronzo’s ethereal paintings depict imagined landscapes from a world of his own creation. His hauntingly beautiful paintings alternate between reality and the surreal as they present desolate and mysterious places reminiscent of the iconic American West.
The paintings are highly detailed and wander from familiar and mundane to the surreal. Fundamentally a storyteller, DiFronzo transports the viewer into a world of his own creation and invites them to live there. As they move from painting to painting in the series, the viewer vicariously experiences the depth and breadth of this world and the stories that DiFronzo has imagined.
There is an elegance and refinement to the mark-making. Often spare in their compositions, the paintings rarely contain more than a few subjects: the sky, the earth, creosote or arrowweed bushes, and some evidence of past or present human existence in the form of an abandoned car, fence post, road, or rail car. DiFronzo is illustrating the story, or perhaps premonition, of what might become of humanity, and what we unintentionally would leave behind.
Francis DiFronzo was born in 1969 in San Pedro, California. He received his BFA from the University of California, Fullerton, in 1994 and his MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1996. DiFronzo's acclaimed works have been exhibited throughout the United States and are included in numerous private collections. His work has been published in American Art Collector, Western Art & Architecture, and Fine Art Connoisseur, among others. He has been awarded several prestigious grants including the Stobbart Foundation Fellowship in the Arts in 1998 and the Pew Fellowship in the Arts in 2004. He lives and works in Southern California.
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