Cascade Media Group Visits with Artist Frank Frazier in New York

Category: Arts & Entertainment

Frank Frazier is a self-taught artist whose concerns revolve around the movement of black art galleries and Black art in America. He states that “I’m concerned about the future of the black artist; the lasting effect of our work on our own children. It’s important that we, as artists, make some statements to affect change.”

His work is influenced greatly by world events. For instance, he began a piece called “War Another time” two days after the war in the Persian Gulf stated. A collage and watercolor, it projects Frazier’s questioning of a U.S. military role in the Middle East during the Gulf War versus what he feels was the United States’ ambivalence toward apartheid in South Africa. The Subject of war is familiar to the artist, who served in Vietnam. In fact, his first professional art exhibit, in 1971 featured oil paintings detailing his experiences in the war. His new series of monotypes, a medium he has been exploring for the last 5 years, reflects the crisis in the U.S., namely the impact of drugs and teenage pregnancy on our society.

In addition, he produced a series on Africa at Hands-on Graphics in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Originally from Harlem, New York, Frazier left home when he was 16 years old to become an artist Courses at the New York Art Students League, Nassau Community College, and Hofstra University helped shape his creativity. In 1980, He moved to Dallas where he began exploring the silkscreen medium. Frazier’s publication of prints has made his work more affordable to more people, an important goal for him to achieve. He has been working with collage on and off for about 7 years, incorporating “Pieces I pick up from my trips to Africa.” Frazier says.

He uses swatches of vibrantly colored Kente cloth and figurines from Ghana, Upper Volta, and the Ashanti tribe. His company is called “Visions in Black Gallery”, run by his wife, Judy. Frank Frazier’s work has been featured in books, films, and television movies like, Waiting to Exhale, Coming to America, Frank’s Place, and Bustin’ Loose. Exhibitions of his art include shows at the African American museum, Hempstead, New York; Armour J. Blackburn Gallery, Howard University, Washington, D.C.; Martin Luther King Jr. Library, Dallas; and the Brooklyn Museum.

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