The Francis Collection

Collection Three . Early Vision Artworks

The Coffee Visions Period

Coffee Beans and Water on Paper

After moving to the city to take up the life of a dedicated artist, Francis quickly fell into a deep depression, isolating himself from the world he was familiar with, and lacking any sense of connection to his new surroundings. He spent nearly all of his time in the studio alone, where he was fantastically productive, but ultimately unhappy with his work. He did, however, discover coffee while wandering his neighborhood in a daze, and he quickly became addicted to caffeine, as it amplified his energies to put back into his vision creation.

With his lack of focus, though, he began to paint only with coffee, as if the colorful paints on his table were suddenly invisible to his eye. He produced vision after vision, represented through crushed coffee grounds and water, forming his usual abstract formations. The reaction to these visions from his small base of fans in the art world at the time was quite negative and critical. But since Francis' subsequent rise as a populist public art hero, these works have been recognized as his moment of frustration that propelled him on to bigger and better artistic goals.