Growing up in rural Pennsylvania, I have always been captivated by nature. While most people see the larger image of a landscape, the trees and the rolling hills, I tend to fixate on the miniature galaxies that appear when you look more closely. Vast colors surface and the layered depths of the natural world reveals itself. I see it all but focus on nothing. These abstractions inform everything that I make.
My work captures the essence of nature in its most basic and raw form: not by representations of nature, but rather through collaboration with nature. The process begins outdoors as I apply paints to a stretched canvas laid horizontally on sawhorses. I manipulate the still-wet oils into organic patterns and textures. Complexity emerges when I layer on crushed leaves, weeds, sand, detritus and other natural matter. The process continues as I add more color, more water, treating paint as a sculpture material, and occasionally bringing fire or snow into the creative mix to further alter the painting’s surface. Using this technique, I add and subtract on the horizontal, continually viewing the piece from above. After weeks and sometimes months, it is finished.
The canvas’ edge reveals the transformations and history of these works. Like life, the paintings have ordered chaos, only revealed through time.
Cleveland based artist Don Frey (b.1969) is known for his exploratory practice, where the line between painting and object is blurred—activating the spaces between the forgotten and the found. Frey has a preoccupation with the transitory natural world; decay, corrosion, and growth. In his most recent body of work, Frey controls the canvas with elements of fire and ice.
Live on Lakeside
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