Born in Cape Town, Francois began taking photographs and studying the history of art at the age of 15 at Frank Joubert Art School. He has since successfully exhibited in "off the radar" private galleries around Cape Town. He does not have a masters degree from a fine art institution, nor any other school but lends purely from his internal university where it seems he has graduated with merits.
Starting to take his photography seriously at age 25 - his approach comprises purely of fine art through a strong mixture of classical black and white photography. His thinking lend almost directly from the miksang approach while his love for shape, form and strong contrasts are indefinitely Bauhaus influences.
Bound in between this inseparable dichotomy he translates it as such: "I am prodded from both sides equally. The affection of subjects, and the absolute finality of shape and light. And without sounding like a smart-aleck, that dichotomy and the viewer (incl me) become the trichotomy. My works hold those reins: the cold and warm, separate but together. Neither watered down, 100% visual and 100% soul. You cant go wrong with that."
He otherwise views his works as visually "simplistic" - no need for complication, that portrays incompletion and under-development (pun intended) to him. "Once you have figured it out, its actually easy from there on. One of the hardest parts is overcoming the disillusion that we cannot."
Simplistic perhaps because he refuses to budge an inch to trade off anything for his idea of authenticity: 'beat', creative/pop culture, 'arty' - anything using alternative methods to capture audiences is easy, pointless and considered a creative weakness to him. "I will never photograph a guys head pinned on a tv in a barn - it makes no sense. Id rather capture ten people that grasp this for a lifetime that 5000 of them for ten minutes that dont - that would mean a complete waste of time."
"Art should be unobtrusive, that it may enter much deeper, for then it is infallible to changing of human perceptions. One can stare at human sadness only for so long, where a work of art is thus timeless, separated, always capable of satisfying over and over: continually recreating the moment, never losing its value over time."
He avoids any socialistic or journalistic influences - and strongly agrees that real creative photography is an amalgamation of the human spirit and mind: a free spirit requires a free mind, and vice versa. Having those interlocked means there is little room for pure artistic expression outside those parameters, whereas sadness/negativity robs us of this symbiosis. He agrees that this is one of our collective and simple symbiotic goals, in contrast to the irony of our complex nature - to live, perceive and create from within this inner peace: "Letting the deep-conscious pluck the strings, press the shutter - imagine the picture." In this state, your being is like soft mud, and the image leaves a lasting imprint on it - not unfiltered, just unfiltered by annoyances.
"Sub-conscious is non existent, its a paradox - a complete self annihilating term, for everything is conscious yet perhaps just not reached. The term sub conscious should be removed and replaced with deep-conscious. I wouldn't be surprised if it was deliberately created just to confuse people more."
Having reached an incredible internal level of self confidence has completely cemented his approach and self belief in his work - an area where many artists tend to suffer. "I have not budged an inch as to the authenticity and rewarding sense of even my first works - simply because I know I have created all my works from an immovable place. They will remain."
As implied in his pictures - his strong criticism is that one must be in this space (the "3rd dimension") - to appreciate or create true art: untied by inner oppression which asks or requires, but rather that it be a giving or referring from a freedom within, a continual harmony.
Too much mind and one seeks too much complexity, too little heart and one misses the beauty and humility of appeciation within - for only in this space can one appreciate simplicity without feeling it lacks, nor lack the emotion needed to trigger a response (for instance the boy on the jetti): innocence from a distance, perhaps forgotten?
Such is emotion in light - part human response, and part light - yet an exclusion of anything journalistic, political or socialistic that would grey out ones deeper perceptions. He argues that the core of creative photography should come from within the soul - free from the injustices and negative elements of the world that would otherwise hinder the goals of his work: to touch inside the viewer an inner contentness (or freedom), be it of the memory of childlike innocence, strong abstract appreciation, simple beauty in light or motion - or simply a combination of these.
The point of connection is that the images must trigger the individuals inner contentedness - touch sides with it, wave a greeting hand so to speak for this is the place from where the images were composed/taken and the perspective from which they were selected.
"The perfect image need not contain everything, yet it must lack absolutely nothing."