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Dominic Frost A summary of major themes in the artist's work

I began my formal study of art when I was 15 under the instruction of Anthony Holdsworth, a plein air painter. With him, I learned the classical techniques and theory that form the foundation of my current practice.

study of a pair of sunglasses from ca 2014

While I maintain an interest in realism, my studies at Tulane have pushed me to embrace abstract and conceptual art as well. While I try not to relegate myself to a trademark style, most of the art that I have been creating recently combines the real and abstract.

The Rabbit Incident, 2018

These images are typically the result of what I would call a modulated approach. I will intentionally work at different speeds in an attempt to utilize the full spectrum of abstraction. Through this process, I aim to create a visual language that evokes reality, fantasy, memory, aspiration: in a word, tension.

Sad Brian, 2019

Most of my subject matter tends to be personal and referential. Essentially, a body of work functions as a catalogue of fears, anxieties, and desires, obscured by their expression through remote symbols.

Look at the Harlequin, 2019

The above painting references Vladimir Nabokov's meta-autobiography Look at the Harlequins, as well as a recurrent motif in Picasso's oeuvre, the Harlequin. Nabokov and Picasso both employ the stock character because of his recognized status as an illustrious fraud and unlikely hero. In this painting, the character throws himself in exasperation at the failure of the works onto which he is superimposed (and perhaps his own failure). Unmasked and vulnerable, he hides his face - yet still remains a spectacle. In this painting, I see a personal narrative retold through the language of known cliche, but once removed from fatalism by self awareness.

While Look at the Harlequin may deny interpretation, a portion of my work presents the literal. This self portrait, shown in process, is just a self portrait.

(finished) Portrait of the Artist, 2019

What does it mean? Historically, self portraits have allowed artists to capture vignettes of emotional states. In this piece, the artist appears despondent - his expression is blank, his eyes are glazed. His rendered blemishes and evident absence of mind may point to the same self-deprecating sentimentality exuded by the Harlequin. Are we to laugh or to pity?

Making my way Downtown, 2018

Another tension that I find fascinating is that between sincerity and irony. Grandiosity and denial form the poles to another axis that, along with realism and abstraction, constitute points of intrigue in art. When a piece is too severe, too pretentious, the artifice collapses under its conceptual weight. Conversely, when a concept does not merit the degree of labor evident in its manifestation, the artifice floats away. My favorite works of art are generally well balanced and well considered.

The Artist's Inner Turmoil, 2019

This work falls on the low-brow end of the spectrum, and clearly intends to evoke comedy. The figures formally showcase both laborious realism and childish reduction, and their exchange is juvenile. This failure to reconcile the visual language of the piece mirrors an inability to calm warring idealisms.

Road Trip, 2018

Road Trip falls soundly in the center of the graph; it is serious, ironic, real, and abstract.

(in progress) The Great Hercules (after Goltzius), 2019

Unlike The Artist's Inner Turmoil, The Great Hercules has a fairly simple intent, yet announces the immense labor of its process. Through the ardor and exhaustion associated with creation, and the juxtaposition of the figure with a (not pictured) abstract form, I try to simultaneously evoke a sense of marvel and the Absurd.

Hardware Store Weapon No. 2, 2017

If you would like to see more work or get in touch, I am always available via instagram @generic_postmodern

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Dominic Frost
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all images belong to Dominic Frost

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