My name is Hugh Francis. I'm a conceptual artist but probably not in a traditional way. I'm an ideas guy. My first company was in Research and Development. I am now in the Art Business. My formal training is in Creative Writing, Business, and Philosophy. Mix it all up, and you end up with me. Call me anything you like.
I have some rather unusual ideas on Art. I think it is one of the only things that really matters. I believe that life is Art. Art can encompass all things. It is subjectivity. My daughter is my masterpiece…. I believe Art is whatever you say it is, as much as this might vex me at times. I don’t think how good it is matters. I think it should say something, but it might try to say nothing. As in business, it is not about money. It’s about people or life, and relationships and perception. Business is about helping people, or it should be. Art is the business of life, or it is for me. Art and life are metaphors for each other. I believe in patronage. I hate money, but I need a lot of it to do what I need to do. I see money just as a means to more Art. I think if someone was really smart they would give me a lot of money and let me do whatever I wanted. I’d just give it away, anyhow.
But it’s to whom I’d give it to that matters. Artists, of course!
For example, I discovered an artist named Ray Graville. He is the reason I am here. The story of the man, and how he works, is as wonderful as the work he does.
He walks the mean streets of Vancouver pushing a buggy for dumpster to dumpster. He paints on what he finds and with whatever he can use. It’s often on wood or plasticized cardboard, but it could be on glass, sheet metal or even canvas, if he’s very lucky. He sells a couple a day on a street somewhere. How hard do you think that might be? Well, I have a least twenty. I’ll sell most of them to buy more. I hope to make enough to keep him from being homeless, as he often is. All the work you will see here will be his. Imagine what he could do with some real paint and canvases. There are thousands of Graville’s paintings floating around this town and the world. Many are in and around Gastown and Vancouver. People from the cruise ships take them home. But the art world hasn’t heard of the man. I am his agent, and I intend to change that. He can’t represent himself. You will know why.
I'm an activist, I guess, and a videographer. I have just put up some of my first works on YouTube. If you have some time, please watch them. More will follow shortly. I’m working on more than a few things right now, including the only footage of the man doing what he does best – the only footage of him that likely exists – a documentary called Looking For Ray. I’m also going to launch my new company, Poesy Inc. A video will follow that explains a call for submissions for representations of a Hibler Tree, one hundred thousand dollars being the contest’s prize.
The Hibler Tree is a tree born of poetry.
The honey of the Hibler Tree
Is not half so sweet as thee,
Nor Autumn winds through dying leaves
As wistful as is missing thee.
The poet wishes to remain anonymous. He gave the poem to me. He has since passed away. Suffice it to say, he was a tail gunner in the Second World War whose wife had passed away. “Yes, my friend, it really does ……. matter what a Hibler Tree is.”
It'll take some time to get through these, but it's real, even if it's unbelievable. There will be one more to follow. I wish I could have done it justice.
Snakehead Scandal in Burnaby's Central Park - One Man's Protest
Snakehead Scandal in Burnaby's Central Park - Day 2
This one was just for fun, but it might actually do something.