Come Softly to Me
Louis Fratino’s deeply intimate paintings, often featuring lovers, family, friends, and the artist himself, present the human figure as a site of vast emotive expression. Paint is applied and blended in swathes of color and texture, forming a seductive tactility mirrored in the painted subject matter. Drawing from an art historical lineage of modernist figure painters—including Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and Fernand Léger—Fratino’s works mine the possibilities of human connection amplified through the seductive power of the painted surface.
This selection of new works sees a shift from the domestic spaces that Fratino commonly depicts into the urban landscape, while also exploring psychological or metaphysical states. In some paintings, recognizable New York landmarks appear in the background as geographical markers of time and space, while in others, figures are unmoored from such associations, appearing in undefined color fields. In Fratino’s work, sexuality, intimacy, desire, and human connection are expressed as a constant presence for his subjects.