I posted this on my Instagram (deadredfred) a few days ago. These fairies are definitely in an ambiguous area for me. I think of "fantasy art" as illustration. The gallery work to me is clearly art made for a gallery although on an abstract level it could be used as a companion to peak interest for a story or book cover etc. Like most gallery art could. Illustrations are clearly for articles. They might use elements written about to construct an image that might represent the ideas conveyed or pull a small part out to make the viewer interested to find out what the artist saw that would make them create that.
These fairy paintings are in the middle of this for me. I'm not creating them for a story but they are a known sort of creature that comes from fantasy art associated with witches, and dragons, and talking bugs, etc. They have this history, like baggage that you have to bring along or at least address. The gallery world doesn't seem to value this very much.
I'm very happy for the new-ish art scene that still doesn't seem to have an agreed upon name. Juxtapose, Pop Surrealism, Outsider Art, Lowbrow... I think it was germinating in the mid 90's. I wish I had been paying attention to it sooner! My first Lowbrow show I was in was around '05. I had a good painting that won "Best of Show" but I really didn't have a plan. My images were hit or miss.
This brings me to these fairy paintings. This is my launchpad for the next exploration.
Definitely letting my current study of James Jean art creep in. I guess I began looking at his work more closely because I was already noticing similar elements between my work and his and several other people. These paintings are pretty small and also for sale for any people interested in transitional paintings.
This one isn't finished yet.
I think I should title these entries after I've written them not before. I assume I am speaking to friends, or at least neutral people I might be a friend with if we were to meet. I'm not the kind of person that goes out in the world looking for potential people to be enemies with. I like to think I give everyone equal opportunity to be friends. There are different layers of friends of course.
I consider this dude who cleans the gym where I work out a friend, but like level one, or 1C. I don't know his name, but only a week after he was working there, he found my locker key on the floor after I had left. Instead of turning it in to lost and found, or going through my locker to take my dirty shorts and some soap, he held on to it until the next day. As soon as I walked in the gym, he stopped me and asked if I lost my key. I said yes and he fished it out of his pocket with a "here you go, I thought it was yours". He just got in to Level 1! I had a spare, so it wouldn't have been a tragedy, but how cool is that?
I was just impressed he had paid attention as to who I was and at which locker all during his first week. The guy at the desk who has seen me a million times, recognizes me, and still seems surprised when I ask for a towel every time.
I have a newsletter you can sign up and "hear" more rantings and opinions and usually see a preview of the art I'll be sharing in the coming week. Ok my friends... Some figure drawings from this past weekend. Newsletter people have already seen a few of these.
I'm revisiting my series of fairies I did originally for my trip to Angouleme, France. I wasn't planning to sell them for much so I didn't put a lot of time into doing them. They were all India ink on watercolor paper with a few washes of gouache. I guess in the back of my head I considered them preliminaries for a more focused painting either in gouache or oils. I guess I would consider most paintings preliminaries until they are made in oil. It's only recently that I've been comfortable considering gouache on the same level of oil painting. I've worked in gouache for years for my illustration assignments and they were all finished illustrations. It's interesting that I took this long to come to this position about the medium making the definitive vision of the art.
I went in to the fairies again with the intent to make finished looking art. So far I'm pretty happy with the results. The blue fairy is resisting my attempts to finish it but I will get it. People on my news letter got to see these first.
I changed some of the structure in this one. I wasn't crazy o the proportions of the first version. Still torn between treating the green hair as a flat green shape or trying to give it volume. I need to resolve the eye also.
Opening at MF Gallery
213 Bond St.
JUNE 15, 6-10pm
Please look over the Prints page and get them all.
Have a good Easter/Passover or month.
Now is a good time to commission a portrait or purchase some physical art for the winter!
If you'd like to commission me for a painting... Portraits with my surreal aesthetic only. The face you have and my paint brushes! Estimated turnaround 3 months. Shorter will cost more. Contact me now.
Last Rites Gallery 325 W. 38th Street, between 8th & 9th Ave, NYC: (212) 529.0666
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