Nico Franz

1981 Cottbus, DE

Self portrait with Canvas, 2015

Pixel on Canvas

Self portrait with Canvas

Portrait of the author in three quarters with turtleneck sweater in an empty room. In the background you can see a black canvas. On it are three dots in the colors red, green and blue. The dots change their position in each view. The portrait is in the style of pointilism. That is, there are no shapes or lines, just a collection of black circles with five different diameters. These circles are set on an invisible network of parallel lines.

Classification in the complete works

The "Self Portrait with Canvas" by Nico Franz is a work of the series "Pixelication" from the year 2015. It represented the culmination of the artistic work of Nico Franz to date. It was an expression of a new self-confidence, after he had succeeded in reducing all his previous art to the smallest common element, the monas. At the same time, this work also manifests the realization of the painting-technical possibilities that result from controlling the pixels of the original images. His work "Love Affairs & Leadership" showed this possibility earlier, but it was only later that he realized the extent of the possibilities that arise from the full understanding of the strung pixels that are widely referred to as image.


For each view, the image itself is taken out of its original state, a photograph of unknown date, broken down into its individual pixels, grouped, evaluated, and then displayed in a sometimes larger, sometimes smaller black circle. The process of copyism using the example of the copyist himself.

The three moons of Jupiter

Nico Franz proves that he has mastered this process by the changing positions of the red, green and blue dots in the black canvas. Only there the black circles change their color. There were voices that thought to see in the three colored dots an astronomical allusion to the recently discovered three moons of Jupiter, but Nico Franz never confirmed this. It is closer to see in them the triumvirate of the monas itself, which always consists of the colors red, green and blue, in short RGB. Their value determines their appearance. The fact that Nico Franz holds the other circles in black in front of an otherwise white background is certainly also to be understood in this context. Black and white are the highest and lowest RGB values that a monas can receive. He thus sets a frame for them, but then they can move freely.

The Canvas Element

That the technical method with which Nico Franz represents the pixels, processes them and makes them appear anew, happens by means of a code element, which is called <canvas> (English canvas), is only incidentally mentioned.

Copyist works