Franck De Las Mercedes is an artist who lives and works in New York City. He was born in Masaya, Nicaragua. Franck’s experience as a child in war-torn Nicaragua, the visual clash of New York’s graffiti and an interest in the abstract expressionism movement played a major role in de las Mercedes becoming a visual artist.
With a self-obtained education, straight from the aisles of the Mid-Manhattan Public Library, Franck’s work integrates aspects photography, drawing, journal entries and text art, in frenetic paintings with energetic abstractions bursting with color.
De las Mercedes draws inspiration from his New York backdrop and references past experiences, the effects of childhood trauma and family relationships in life and books, to create psychologically-charged imagery.
In 2006, de las Mercedes achieved international acclaim with his conceptual art project “The Priority Boxes.” An ongoing public project conceived as a way to bring contemporary art to a broader audience, the boxes encourage people to participate in conversations about peace and challenge them to question their ability to influence change as well as the fragility, value and priority given to those concepts. In recent years, the boxes have been adapted as teaching tool for educator, community centers and art therapy counselors across the US.
In the summer of 2012 an image of a “Peace Box” was exhibited on the iconic LED screens of Times Square. Over 16,000 Peace Boxes have been sent to over 70 countries across the globe. In 2014, the New Jersey Senate and General Assembly passed a joint legislative resolution honoring Franck and the Peace Boxes Project. He was also recognized as an “Outstanding Latino” by the Union City Music Project for being a role model for students and a leader within the community.
Named one of Complex magazine’s “15 Artists About to Dominate 2015”, Franck has participated in numerous national and international exhibits around the world including The Fabergé Big Egg Hunt New York, The NY Museum of Modern Art’s “Abstract Currents”, Sing for Hope Piano 2015, BKLYN Designs, Naples Museum of Art, Folklore Museum of Tripotamos Greece, The National College of Ireland, Ireland and The French Institute Alliance Française. In 2012, his portrait of Francisco de Quevedo was acquired by Fundación Francisco de Quevedo for their permanent collection in Ciudad Real, Spain.
Franck has been featured on numerous national and international television shows and prestigious publications, including CNN, Good Day New York, LatiNation, Univision’s “Aqui y Ahora”,Selecciones (Reader’s Digest), Art Business News, Hispanic Magazine, Museum VIEWS, American Style, The Daily Beast, Town & Country and was Blick Art Materials’ Spring Catalogue 2013 Featured Artist.
On February 18, 2014 FdlM lost over a decade of his body of work in a five alarm fire that destroyed his home and studio in Weehawken, NJ. The artist relocated to Washington Heights, the upper Manhattan neighborhood where he grew up.