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Francheska Alcántara

Francheska Alcántara

Francheska Alcántara

The merging, burning, and layering of raw organic materials are common processes within Francheska Alcántara’s practice. Their use of certain materials, such as the Hispano cuaba soap, reflects their works’ overall engagement with the customs and subjectivity of Caribbean and Black diasporic identity. Manufactured in the Dominican Republic, the soap is a quintessential Caribbean household item with multifaceted uses, including as laundry detergent, for treating wounds, patching leaks, or cleansing the body. The amber-colored, cubed-shaped material, made from the extracted oil of a pine tree, is a grounding element for Alcántara’s newest sculptural series, Tiger Jaw (2022), in which they merge and fuse the soap onto a custom-made wooden structure.

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Francheska Alcántara

FRANCHESKA ALCÁNTARA

Tiger Jaw III and Tiger Jaw IV, 2022

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FRANCHESKA ALCÁNTARA

Tiger Jaw III and Tiger Jaw IV, 2022

Photo by Daniel Kukla

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Francheska Alcántara

FRANCHESKA ALCÁNTARA

Tiger Jaw III, 2022

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FRANCHESKA ALCÁNTARA

Tiger Jaw III, 2022

Hispano cuaba soap, acrylic and resin on wood

12 x 9.5 x 3 inches

30.5 x 24.1 x 7.6 cm

Photo by Daniel Kukla

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Francheska Alcántara

FRANCHESKA ALCÁNTARA

Tiger Jaw III, 2022

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FRANCHESKA ALCÁNTARA

Tiger Jaw III, 2022

Hispano cuaba soap, acrylic and resin on wood

12 x 9.5 x 3 inches

30.5 x 24.1 x 7.6 cm

Photo by Daniel Kukla

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Francheska Alcántara

FRANCHESKA ALCÁNTARA

Tiger Jaw IV, 2022

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FRANCHESKA ALCÁNTARA

Tiger Jaw IV, 2022

Hispano cuaba soap, acrylic and resin on wood

12 x 9.5 x 3 inches

30.5 x 24.1 x 7.6 cm

Photo by Daniel Kukla

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Francheska Alcántara

FRANCHESKA ALCÁNTARA

Tiger Jaw IV, 2022

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FRANCHESKA ALCÁNTARA

Tiger Jaw IV, 2022

Hispano cuaba soap, acrylic and resin on wood

12 x 9.5 x 3 inches

30.5 x 24.1 x 7.6 cm

Photo by Daniel Kukla

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In Tiger Jaw III (2022), a darkened piece of wood, burnt and scorched by fire, emerges from the center of a charred and melted cuaba soap. The work’s unique, organic shape, inspired by forms in the artist’s drawings, suggests a vessel holding and containing a poetic power. The glistening soap is akin to a salve for a wound, soothing and healing a burn injury to the skin. Their fusion of organic materials (sourced from their residency at Tulsa Artist Fellowship in Tulsa, Oklahoma) transforms Alcántara’s sculptural work into an illustration of their psycho-geographical journey in Tulsa, especially their consideration of the city’s history. Alcántara’s sculptures offer a path for emergence and transformation, and function as sacred capsules for collective memory. Their composition of materials from the Caribbean and the central United States converges different lineages of Black experience into a vessel that offers the potentiality of healing.

Artist texts by Marissa Del Toro

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Francheska Alcántara

FRANCHESKA ALCÁNTARA

Starry Ocean I, 2021

FRANCHESKA ALCÁNTARA

Starry Ocean I, 2021

Ink, watercolor, fabric, thread on brown paper bag

16 x 11 x 6.5 inches

Francheska Alcántara

FRANCHESKA ALCÁNTARA

Starry Ocean II, 2022

FRANCHESKA ALCÁNTARA

Starry Ocean II, 2022

Ink, watercolor, fabric, thread on brown paper bag

16 x 11 x 6.5 inches

Francheska Alcántara

FRANCHESKA ALCÁNTARA

Le Fleur Cadenou series, 2022

FRANCHESKA ALCÁNTARA

Le Fleur Cadenou series, 2022

Fabric, oil pastel, brown paper bag, metal, acrylic, coffee grinds, salt, and rope

Dimensions variable

Francheska Alcántara

FRANCHESKA ALCÁNTARA

Tiger Jaw II, 2019–2021

FRANCHESKA ALCÁNTARA

Tiger Jaw II, 2019–2021

Hispano cuaba soap, acrylic, thread, fabric, and resin on wood

20 x 9.5 x 3 inches

Francheska Alcántara

FRANCHESKA ALCÁNTARA

Tiger Jaw V, 2022

FRANCHESKA ALCÁNTARA

Tiger Jaw V, 2022

Hispano Cuaba soap, acrylic, and resin on wood

12 x 9.5 x 3 inches

Francheska Alcántara

FRANCHESKA ALCÁNTARA

Tiger Jaw VI, 2022

FRANCHESKA ALCÁNTARA

Tiger Jaw VI, 2022

Wood sticks, plastic, metal, fabric, acrylic, and resin on wood

14 x 10 x 3 inches

Francheska Alcántara

FRANCHESKA ALCÁNTARA

Dust Petal I, 2019–2021

FRANCHESKA ALCÁNTARA

Dust Petal I, 2019–2021

Hispano cuaba soap, petals, line, gold leaf, and resin on wood

30 x 26 x 3 inches

Francheska Alcántara

FRANCHESKA ALCÁNTARA

Dust Pedal III, 2022

FRANCHESKA ALCÁNTARA

Dust Pedal III, 2022

Hispano cuaba soap, soil, acrylic, gold leaf, and resin on wood

30 x 26 x 3 inches

Francheska Alcántara

FRANCHESKA ALCÁNTARA

Strange Fruit, 2019

FRANCHESKA ALCÁNTARA

Strange Fruit, 2019

Cherries, flower petal, coffee, pen shavings, and acrylic on paper

15 x 12 inches

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Francheska Alcántara is a queer Afro-Caribbean interdisciplinary artist currently based between The Bronx and Tulsa, OK. Their work explores material histories, detritus accumulations, and slippages between memories, fragmentation, and longing.

Alcántara graduated with an MFA in Sculpture + Extended Media from Virginia Commonwealth University (2019), a BFA in Painting from Hunter College (2015), and a BA in Art History from Old Dominion University (2009).

They have participated in residencies and fellowships like Wave Hill Gardens Workspace (2021), Creative Capital Professional Taller (2019), Vermont Studio Center (2019), Shandaken: Storm King (2018), Bronx Museum’s AIM Program (2017), and EMERGENYC (2016). This summer, Alcántara will be an artist-in-residence at Recess’ Session Program.

Francheska has shared their work at the Longwood Art Gallery (2022), Chashama Art Space (2021), BronxArtSpace (2020), Queens College Art Center (2019), Brooklyn Museum (2018), Queens Museum (2018), and Bronx Museum of the Arts (2017). Alcántara is a grantee of the City Artist Corps Grant (2021), Interchange Artist Grant (2021), and the Franklin Furnace Fund (2017). Currently, they are a fellow at the Tulsa Artist Fellowship.

INSTAGRAM | WEBSITE | CV

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