Global Village

Who is Bexx Francois?

Wow. What a question. Almost impossible to answer. I’m… Haitian and American. I’m soft and tough. Honest and sensitive. Woman and masculine. Courageous and fearful.
I have been and can be many things – at different times, for different reasons. But my intentions are to be balanced, and to be genuine [to myself first].

I stand for freedom; deep, personal, intimate freedom. I stand for the grace to be human.

Biblically, my name – Bex[x] &* Rebecca – means to “tie firmly” or bind. To be “bound to God.”

How has being Haitian-American growing up in a traditional Haitian home shaped your creative process? Assuming you grew up in a traditional Haitian household.

I believe someone’s “style” or “approach” to photography, is an echo of the relationship they have with the world around them. There’s a lot that granmoun don’t share with younger children. But now that I’m older, there are new worlds that I’ve been able to access; more intimate than textbook accounts of Haiti. Stories of what it was really like growing up in Haiti in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Simpler and happier ways of life. Ease. My younger cousins – (19-25) in age – describe it as paradise.

I’ve yet to really crystalize my “style” of photography – and may be discounting the nuanced ways my heritage already shows up in my work – but I’m currently on the journey of re-discovering that world. My world.

You recently moved to LA- how has that transition been to your process? How’s LA to a west coat creative Brooklynite?

The move to LA was a HUGE leap for me. I was fresh off the BidenHarris2020 presidential campaign and living in Brooklyn. Technically unemployed, lease coming to an end… I had nothing tying me down to NYC. And additionally, nothing to lose. I’ve always wanted to “try” California, and so I did. When people ask me why I moved to LA, I often tell them “because I wanted to,” and let the discomfort of that succinct, unexpected answer linger. It was really that simple.

Living in LA forced me to lean into myself. And now. I’m celebrating my first year down.

I realized how much texture and story exists in New York; the noise, congestion, the foot traffic, the characters, the “everything’s open late late,” music blasting from the speakers of cars, the buildings, the canopied blocks of Brooklyn, the “AYO!”s, the BLACK PEOPLE. And not to say any of that doesn’t exist in LA, but in NYC, all of that is right up against you.

LA affords you SPACE. Which is extremely valuable, if you use it correctly. Ie, explore, soak up some vitamin D, enjoy the pink, orange, and purple sunsets, take a drive up the PCH. Sit still.

The hustle of NYC will always keep you ahead of the curve. The vibe of LA gives you the space to breathe.


NYc is so rich of culture how do you compare inspiration or work flow on the west coast versus a city like NY which is so filled with people and movement?

This is such an interesting question. And one I’ve asked myself as well. The space and light in LA had me feeling like I needed to shoot in color – ONLY. Like I needed to make things neat and airbrushed, packaged – boilerplate portraits.

But, working bi-coastal has allowed me to surrender to the moodiness in my work. NYC’s inconsistent weather, compared to LA’s, feels storied. One day it’s bright and graphic. Another day there might be an overcast, making everything look desaturated. Rainfall polishing the streets. And don’t let anyone tell you the sunlight ain’t different on the east and west coast!

But with all that I’ve observed, I’ve been able to accept that my work will always have grit or texture to it. I enjoy imperfections, shadows, concealment. Creating a desire to want to know more; want to touch. I don’t always* hit the mark; but the intention is there. And I think that for sure comes from being raised in NYC.

Do you have a dream project, if so what is it?

I would love to travel the world as a photojournalist. Or commissioned across the globe for portrait and editorial work. Working with Kamala Harris on both her campaigns spoiled me. At one point, I was on the road for 21 days straight, living out of a carry-on suitcase. We visited 5 cities in 1 day. And I loved every part of it. Trying to find the story as the places and people around us changed – quickly – was both challenging and thrilling.

I want to shoot the cover of [a few] magazines on my wish list, curate and showcase an exhibition of my work, publish a [few] coffee table book(s) (I’m working on a few ideas, but I know I want one to be a celebration of black skin tones) and direct a short film. This is all on the immediate wishlist. But most importantly, I want my work to be meaningful beyond me and last beyond my time.