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“Feeling, being, thinking, perceiving and our overall existing in nothingness, is the most important part of being alive, of being someone. We must realize that, in essence, we are defined by everything that we are not.”


Pristine is the artistic realization of the mother of all images. In these works, Franzen investigates the significance of the prenatal space of each and every artwork. The image symbolizes the space into which nothing has yet been born, the untouched, unnamed and unborn state of purity. Nothingness in its infinity.

The white canvas, as the mother of all images, contains all possible creations ever captured and to be captured on canvas. Written or drawn. Any word, thought, idea, face, line, figure can fill the awaiting canvas.

It is the void, the nothingness and space of all possible. It’s a symbol and even an icon of the womb of every creation.


Similar concepts of nothingness as the basis for the universe and godly creation can be found in Asian spiritual and religious beliefs, art and design. Nothingness and darkness play a crucial part in Asian aesthetic understanding and perception. The aim is always for the transcendence of the mind to a godly state. Here, in Franzen’s Pristine, the mind of the artist and observer transcends by being confronted with nothingness. By seeing nothing, the mind resides.


Asian aesthetic philosophers describe the void as the womb of the cosmos. Paintings and drawings never fill more than 50% of the page, the rest is empty. Design and furniture, walls and spaces are minimalistically reduced to almost nothing. This all serves the purpose of becoming one with the truth.