Francis C. Robateau Jr. is an Afro-Latinx Belizean American, multidisciplinary fine artist, inspiring art curator and university professor. He received his bachelor’s degree in Art with an emphasis in printmaking and a minor in philosophy from California State Northridge University in 2020. Current-ly he is an MFA student at Cal State Northridge anticipated graduate 2023. He is one of the founders and current creative director for Latinx 4 Social movement. The focus of his art deals with the com-plexities of his past and current experiences of memory and self-perception through past traumas of racism, migration, and colonialism. He is navigating what it is to be multicultural Belizean American whose existence is a direct result of those traumas of slavery and colonization. He has worked for art-ist Wen Fang on her 2019 exhibition titled Ex/Ordinary, CSUN West Galleries in charge of public education, and community outreach. He is published in Wen Fangs exhibition art catalog critiquing her art. His artwork was featured on Curious Publishing: Pandemic Zine 2020 and exhibited in 2019 Soft Soap: Annual Student Exhibition. CSUN West Gallery, Northridge Ca. Juried by Holly Jerger lead curator of Craft Contemporary, Moah Cedar’s, Juried Art Exhibition 2021, CSUN West Gallery, Annual Student Exhibition 2021. He was awarded the Jim Sweeter’s scholarship 2021, CSUN Arts, Council.
Exploring and understanding the context of my cultural identity guides my multidisciplinary practice. This personal and visual journey of self-discovery and introspection begins with self-perception and considers Belize’s fraught history of colonization and migration. Being a multicultural Belizean Amer-ican, my existence is a direct result of the colonization of the Caribbean and acknowledges the inter-connectivity of race and culture. This identity has thrived despite resistance, creating diverse ap-proaches to decolonization yielding new and more diverse cultures.
My physically layered paintings and prints, my photographs represent careful observation. The imag-es use formal elements to capture candid moments of Belizean people and landscapes as I navigate through and within the place of my origin. The inhabited environments and spaces comprise the set-tings for interconnected bodies, experiences, and objects, and my photographs reveal these intersec-tions as I move through nuances of my culture’s complexity. These in turn generate elements in my paintings and prints.
My work reimagines human experience in relation to this diversity by building layered compositions with a variety material. Applications of pigment, ink, and oil hide forms while rubbing and sanding reveal moments of discovery and connection otherwise lost in the process. The work responds to rhythms, surface quality, and distinct color palettes. Seemingly chaotic and in various states of disar-ray, the paintings and prints use layering to embody the complexity and interrelation of mark making and, like the photographs, represent the spaces people inhabit, the relationship of bodies in space, and the cultural experience and transformation through process.