Order Out of Chaos at A.J.Dillon Gallery
July 19, 2013 § 1 Comment
When I was a small boy, I showed my father what appeared to be a page of scribbled lines that in no way would lead him to think I might someday make my living as an artist. He asked me what this masterpiece depicted, and I replied that it was ‘interference on t.v.
Around the same time, I complained to my parents “The television lied, they said the next program would be in living color, and it wasn’t.” I really believed their promise would somehow rectify the limitations of our black and white television. TV wouldn’t lie to me! These two anecdotes are not just evidence that I was raised on tv like a good American, but they foreshadow the work I do today, making social commentary that takes a critical view of the cultural interference spewing from our tv screens.
I went on to attend Pratt Institute, where I met Francis Leahy, currently the director of A.J.Dillon Gallery and a close friend ever since. After college, I worked in the bullpen of an advertising art studio. Like bootcamp for an aspiring illustrator, the insane deadlines, and workload helped prepare me for life as a professional image maker. In these artistic trenches, I met Douglas Miller and Dan Zollinger. We planned our escape and eventually created our own advertising art studio, Redline Illustrations. We operated for ten years, providing storyboards for dozens of Fortune 500 companies. We were a success, but I always felt my deeper artistic desires were being sacrificed for financial gain. I worked nights creating a portfolio of personal work that expressed and channeled my passions and politics. My work was accepted into the American Illustration Annual competition, and it was not long before Rolling Stone, The New Yorker and Time magazine were calling. Not to make it all sound glamorous. ‘Supermarket Digest’ was also calling, and in many ways, editorial illustration was a lot more like advertising illustration than I had hoped it would be.
At this time, I started creating personal work that was part of the nacent, low-brow, pop-surrealist movement growing out the Lower East Side in NYC. My work was shown in several group shows with some important pop artists including Ron English and Kaws. Solo exhibitions at Trifecta Gallery in Las Vegas followed. My art is an attempt to distill, decipher and challenge the images and messages we are bombarded with in relentless salvos of cultural pollution emanating from our tv’s and computer screens using the iconography of our corporate culture and hopefully a bit of humor to make my social commentary. Numerous alternative news venues have given me a platform to share my responses to the government and corporate talking points that pose as news. The Trends Journal publishes a weekly political cartoon series aptly titled “The Weekly Freda”, The French magazine ‘Liberation’ asked me to contribute my political art on a monthly basis, and Infowars, Washington’s Blog, Activist Post, The Big Picture and others post my work. Cindy Sheehan has promoted my anti-war art, and is interviewing me on an upcoming episode of her radio show about my drone painting campaign where I intervene on Thomas Kinkade prints to raise awareness about the cost of the drone wars. Personal highlights of my career include being asked to judge The Society of Illustrators annual competition, and teaching a five day workshop with Victor Stabin, and one of my artistic heroes, Marhsall Arisman. I have also given guest lectures at SVA and Pratt, and have been part of the Graduate Mentorship program at The School of Visual Art. I am honored that my work has been included in The Society of Illustrators, Communcation Arts, and American Illustration competitions. I am thrilled to be showing my work at the A.J. Dillon Gallery. I’m sure mine is only the first of what will be a long list of compelling exhibitions.
I currently live in a 19th century convent with my lovely wife, Amber, amazing son Antonio and the ghosts of several nuns.
Erika Pope said of my work in a 2009 review “Freda’s use of text and imagery combine to turn the obvious on it’s head and, in so doing, force the truly interesting issues to the forefront” I hope you agree.
See my latest exhibition “Order Out of Chaos” at A.J. Dillon Gallery in Atlantic Highlands, NJ
Opening reception: July 20th 7:oopm