Franta is an internationally renowned French artist and sculptor, born in Czechoslovakia in 1930. He studied at the Prague School of Fine Arts before fleeing his homeland in 1958 to live and work in France. He has travelled all over Europe and spent time in India, Japan, Mexico, the United States, and above all Africa. Humanity is at the heart of his work, driving his creative output. The human condition has long tormented him. The emotional and visual shocks he experienced during his travels in Africa led him to break with the theme of despair that had hitherto been a prominent feature of his work – the despair of men tortured by the bureaucratic technostructures of the modern age. The lines of his art – perpetually swooping, intense and alive – began instead to celebrate life and the joy of physicality, incising and dissecting bodies and emotions and translating his own vital energy. Franta expands the limits of the body, laying himself violently bare and displaying his innermost being, his essence,and soul, thereby forcing the viewer to confront reality in a way that is sometimes hard to acknowledge and to engage in introspective self-questioning. Beyond his clear-eyed diagnosis of the human condition, his work is also suffused with compassion and generosity, transmitted to the viewer through a vision of others and their suffering and rootlessness, through the filter of his own life experiences.
Franta's Artwork as a whole is framed in terms of this duality of light and shade: it is redolent with death and at the same time a paean to life.
"One possible definition of what it means to be human, against a backdrop of inhumanity".