“2020” exhibition recalls the social upheaval of the past year with Ricardo Osmondo Francis show at The Collective

The exhibition, which runs through March 27, is curated by The Collective’s Miles Payne


The solo show of new original paintings by the Houston native, New York City based artist and curator is an allegorical reflection of mankind’s response and reality to the unprecedented COVID-19/Coronavirus worldwide pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement of 2020.

This series is deeply inspired by the Roman writer Ovid, and his collection of myths called “The Metamorphoses.”

In this exhibition, Francis reimagines our current year through a series of dreamy yet provocative images that in essence is a spiritually aspirational reflection of our collective reality. Francis’ often illustrative fairy tale like imagery takes on a bolder socially conscious tone in this new body of work– all while representing the possibility of human involvement, progression and continuation despite the many obstacles and uncertainty that this virus has evoked worldwide.

Inspired by Classical art, multi-ethnic antiquity, and present-day advertisement imagery Francis’ vivid pictorial works present a torrent of imagery culled from every possible corner of the visual culture. His lush, elaborately graphic surrealistic paintings and drawings often depict the social constructs of humanity and the complexity of our existence through striking introspective, portraiture, still life and abstract compositions. This current series further explores the artist’s fascination with the possibility of narrative in portraiture.

Francis is a native of Houston, Texas, and a graduate of Houston’s (now Kinder) High School of Performing and Visual Arts. He is currently the Gallery Director of LeonidesArts NY, an artist run multimedia visual arts organization dedicated to presenting contemporary art exhibitions and public art projects that reflect a variety of distinct themes, disciplines and cultural experiences outside of the conventional art gallery tenet.


  • Talk about your influences on your paintings:
  • My influences comes from a variety of sources but mostly music is where I gather most of my  inspiration as an artist . Jazz composers such as Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock are in constant rotation, but the music of minimalists composers such as Steve Reich and Philip Glass really informs what I do both technically and conceptually. Deep house music and even the at-times otherworldly sounds of the British electronica duo Autechre has really “opened my eyes” to see more. I love the idea of harmony and the possibilities in color and the layering of musical themes and chord progressions which translate quite well for me visually as a painter. The closest visual artist I could really say I’m closely related to in theme is the French painter Balthus (died in 2001). His work has a peculiar yet beguiling psychology to it that as a portraitist I’m quite moved by and drawn to.  I try to bring my own sensibility of portraying “the inner soul” of the people that inhabit my work similar to how Balthus did in his. 
  • When did you know you wanted to be an artist? 
  • When I was 4 years I knew I wanted to be an artist. It was my pact with God LOL! At first I wanted to be a cartoonist and create my own superhero comic book series. I loved the X-Men and my interest of the human figure and intrigue of humanity came from reading X-Men comics. However when I was 14, my 7th grade teacher Mr. John Gaines advised me to become a fine artist/painter instead. After taking his art class in both 7th and 8th grades I knew that I really wanted a career as a fine artist. 
  •  What do you want people to take away from your work?
  • My hope is that people who see the show will walk away feeling more enlightened and inspired to continue on with existence despite all the unfortunate events of our current time. 
  • Future plans?
  • My future plans are to continue with an ongoing series on masculinity that I was developing before the pandemic. Eventually this new body of work will premiere preferably in early 2022.  I’m also developing some new virtual exhibits as a curator for the upcoming LeonidesArts NY Gallery itinerary this year. 


For more information about the exhibit contact The Collective at 713-523-1616 or visit http://www.thecollective.org.