The American artist Frances Waite grew up in the Lake Ontario shoreline city of Rochester, and after leaving high school studied art at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. In 2015 she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drawing. A prolific and imaginative artist, her works on paper have been exhibited in the USA and in Europe, and she regularly posts new work online. Her subversive approach to photorealistic graphite drawing has been recognised in a growing number of publications, including Vogue, Playboy, Fukt and Vice. In 2018 Frances was included in Vogue’s ‘World 100’ as one of the most influential creators of the year.

She now lives and has her studio in Los Angeles, California, where the west coast landscape and social scene are often the inspiration for her work.

In 2016 Justine Morrow of the online Beautiful Bizarre magazine interviewed Frances Waite, and here are some of her replies.

When did you first recognise your artistic abilities?

I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember, and the drive and desire only gets more powerful as I get older. My family is really incredible, they’ve always been so supportive and accepting. Both my living grandparents and both of my sisters sent me nudes when I was working on the Selfies project in the fall of 2015. I don’t remember my parents ever discouraging me from making art or making drawing my life and career.

It’s awesome to see someone so young have such a complete vision of their work. Are there specific artists or styles that have inspired you?

I think all artists have their own language, and if you’re lucky you’ll happen across a couple that sort of speak the same one as you do. The only visual artists I’ve stayed in love with over the years are Louise Bourgeois, Toshio Saeki and Matisse. I find that reading influences me more than visual art, and on that front I go for Anaïs Nin, Maggie Nelson and Lydia Davis.

What attracts you to draw sexual imagery, and why do you think that these images resonate so deeply with others?

The core of it is that this is just my language. I guess I’ve always felt intimacy and the bedroom to be the epicenter for a whole parade of emotions and power dynamics. Intimacy is a partner or group activity that, in many ways, we experience alone despite our proximity to each other. I keep coming back to the spaces in which we touch each other and wish to be touched.

What is your artistic philosophy, and what do you hope people come away with after viewing your work?

I believe in making a drawing every day. This probably isn’t right for everyone, but for me it is so necessary! I need to process what hits me every day, I don’t take breaks. As far as my hopes for the viewer are concerned, I guess the goal is to strike a chord and hope someone feels it, recognises that place as if they’ve been there before.

Frances Waite’s website can be found here, and her Instagram page here.

We are very grateful to our Russian friend Yuri for introducing us to the work of this artist, and for supplying some of the images.

Example illustration