Friday, March 8, 2013

The Art of Fred Folsom

I first read about Fred Folsom and his painting in Issue #2 of the arts journal, IMAGE, which was published in the Summer of 1992.  This issue is still available at the IMAGE web site, for the price of $12.  I would urge fans of Fred Folsom's art to get this while they still have them.

When that issue of IMAGE arrived in my mailbox, I devoured the article on Folsom immediately.  Mostly, I was stunned by his paintings.  They were exactly what I would have wanted to paint.  Here is the center panel of his master work, "Last Call" (at the Shepherd Park Go-Go Bar), which was featured in the article.  It is a triptych consisting of three 6-foot by 6-foot panels.




I got the impression, both from the article and from the images of the paintings themselves, that Folsom identified with his subjects.  Indeed, that he knew and loved them, warts and all.

I wouldn't say that, in my novice art "career" at that time, I emulated Folsom exactly.  But I will say that from the first time I saw his work, he has steadily occupied a certain portion of my mind, and of my vision of what it is to be a Christian artist.




Recently, as I have contemplated the creation of a somewhat Folsom-esque painting of my own, I have had reason to go back and do further research on Folsom and his art.  In doing so, I have come across two excellent documentary videos on YouTube.  The first is about 8 minutes in length, and the second is longer, about 27 minutes.  I recommend them both.  They give you a good sense of the artist and the world which he inhabits.  Of particular interest to me were interviews, many years later, of some of the patrons captured in the "Last Call" painting.

Also of interest to me was the fact that Folsom continued to "touch up" this painting for 9 years after its completion!


 

Here are the two documentary videos:



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