Francis Minien

Francis Minien ARPS

Francis Minien is a British photographer based in New York City. An Associate of Britain’s Royal Photographic Society (ARPS), Francis holds an MA in Photography (2005) and a BA in History and Media Studies (1999), both from De Montfort University in the UK. It is primarily these disciplines that inform his artistic practice today.

Displaying a keen curiosity regarding the nature of photographic representation, Francis employs photography to pose questions about the ways in which his chosen medium works; specifically its relationship with external reality. By extension, his photography often makes more general inquiries into the nature of that reality, considering whether the actuality of human existence is directly accessible through subjective experience.

These concerns manifest themselves in Francis’s idiosyncratic methods of photographing the world around him. Rejecting what he regards as the artificiality of much contemporary photography, yet equally aware of its limitations as a recorder of objective truth, Francis instead takes an almost phenomenological approach; depicting his subjects as if he were a curious extraterrestrial, encountering them for the very first time. The resulting images, while often appearing deceptively simple, nonetheless present the viewer with a variety of complex questions.

Nowhere is this more so than in those photographs dealing with the connection of humans to nature, a relationship which Francis characterizes as “a desire to have nature around us, but not to be truly within it.” In such images the artifice of contemporary culture is pulled back to reveal a cleft in its shiny veneer, affording a tantalizing glimpse of other possible worlds beyond.

Although very well traveled, and in fact producing much of his photography while on the road, Francis has little in common with those working in the travel photography genre. Unconcerned with the specifics of place - and indeed obstinately unwilling to disclose the locations of his photographs - Francis operates sine loco; freeing his photographs from the subjugation of culturally-specific readings.

Widely published and exhibited, Francis’s work is held in numerous private and corporate collections and has garnered several prestigious awards.