HIS WORK IS AN EXPLORATION OF THE URBAN ENVIRONMENT, USING OUR MODERN EVERYDAY MATERIALS FABIAN FREESE TURNS OUR EVERYDAY LANDSCAPES INTO WORKS OF LIGHT, LINE AND COLOUR

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"Skyline - New York City” - Lightpainting Photo on Alu Dibond, 2016

 

The work you produce spans a variety of mediums but has noticeable aspects of your signature style in all of them. What are the key concepts behind your practise that you’re exploring?

My work is an exploration of the urban environment. I am searching for materials  which are used in the life of nearly everybody in our modern times and then I transform them into my artworks where the original idea of the use of the item is no longer important, just the form and color of it matters - like in the Everyday Objects Series and others series with objects like mobile phones. Another series which is based on the life in contemporary cities around the world, is the lightpainting series. I often combine different fields of contemporary art, like painting with photography or painting with objects etc. I try to  go over the borders of the traditional art idea to create my works which are often very forward thinking. An element which is part of different works is the vertical line. Sometimes these lines are made with spraypaint, sometimes with foils or other materials. These lines which sharp edges appear on very different artworks help to connect all these aspects of my artworks and is a main theme.


"Empire State Building - New York City” - Photo on Alu Dibond, 2016

 

The minimalist painting series you’ve created is quite something, will you talk us through the process of creation?

These works are made of spraypaint from a typical graffiti spraycan. Most of them have very clear monochrome colorfields on the front surface and sometimes on the edges. The first ones of this series were made of monochrome fields of only one color with different vertical lines on it with also only one color. Later I started to do faded color with the spraypaint, for example faded Blue to Pink etc. Also later in this process i did these faded colors also in the vertical lines. First only faded between 2 colors and later after a lot of exercise I did fadings with the whole spectrum of the 5 rainbow colors. This series is always in a process from the first ones in 2014 and now 2017 after nearly 4 years working on them I also do these paintings with faded rainbow colors around the edges of the canvas which lets a color aura shine around the canvas on the white wall, only because of the reflection of the light. My main interest in this series is how colors appear and how they communicate with the other colors.


"Playground Miami” - Oil, Spraypaint on canvas, 2015

 

Your photography series are really wonderful, can you explain how they are created? What do you do with the exposure to create those lines and shapes?

Most of my photos are made with the "Lightpainting"  photography technic: I have a modern DSLR Camera and do a time exposure with it. While the exposure goes on, I walk though the space and environment of the picture with LED lights which work with batteries and which are fixed on pieces of wood or some other materials like a stick etc. After I finished my choreography of the light movement. I give a handsignal to my assistant at the camera who ends the exposure by closing the shutter. In this Series which i do around the world (I already did London, Paris, Sydney, New York, Rome, Los Angeles, Berlin, Munich, Miami, Las Vegas... etc.) I try to reflect on the space, the perspectives, the architecture, the colors of the environment etc. with my lights which are sometimes cold white or colorful like a rainbow. That all depends on the aura of the place. So I did many different approaches and interpretation of these sometimes famous landmarks with different kinds of moving the lights inside the space. It also reflects and shows "time" because the finished artwork makes a light line visible what was a product of the movement of it, typically within 1 - 3 minutes.


"Brandenburg Gate 3 - Berlin” - Foils, Photo on Alu Dibond, 2013

 

Your mixed media pieces exploring the relationship between painting and photography carry the same trademarks of your painting series. Do you consider them to be a separate series, and what are the essential aspects a landscape has to have for you to pick it?

For me the Mixed Media Series is one of all my different series. These series are all bounded with some key elements like the bright shiny colors, the vertical lines, the clear surface etc. but all these series are a little different in their concepts. The Mixed Media Series in which i combine painting and photography - Lightpaintings with pure concrete colors beside and on the photos, which often show iconic landmarks of metropoles around the world, was the first of these series which I developed at the late years of my art studies at the art academy (fadbk Essen / Germany). Later as I had my first own studio in Wuppertal were I live today, I developed lots of other series in the past years, like the playground Series which is about faded childhood memories. There i paint faded and blurred scenes of Playgrounds with oil color and combine this with abstract elements like vertical lines and concrete colorfields like a memory from the distant past. Today I work a lot on my Everyday Objects Series where I transform Objects who everybody deals with in a ordinary life in our time into art Objects with the help of old Wood boxes, mirrors, DVD players etc. and work on them with a conceptual use of spraypaint or foils etc. So these Objects completely change the look and the original way of using them doesn't matter any more - only color and form are important. In the Mixed Media i usually have these famous tourist landmarks around the world like the Opera House Sydney or the Eiffeltower in Paris and do a Lightpainting shooting there with my lights to change the way most people see these spots in their typical view. I interact with these places with lights and walk inside the picture to show perspectives in lines of light and colors. These photos show my personal interpretation of these buildings, skylines etc. in a way nobody has seen it befor. Also while I do these light performances the people around there get interested in my work and stand around the camera and ask questions which I surely answer and show them the latest shots on the display of them camera which impresses everyone who sees it.


"Green, Violet and Yellow on Crossroads and Blue” - Foils, Mirror, Photo, Spraypaint, Glue, Metal, 2017

 

Your object series is slightly different in its white on white 3D nature, but yet still carries your signature colours in its illumination - how does your approach shift when creating objects over working with paint? 

This object series with old mobiles, gameboys etc. called "Time Flows Series" was the first of these series in which I deal with the iconic items like the first IPhone etc. in a pure expression of the color white on the complete thing including the background except the backside which is sprayed in fluorescent neon colors which give them the same color aura around them on the white woodboard. I try to interact with form of the item and how they relate and communicate with the environment where it is placed on the wall. There are bridges to my Lightpainting Photos in which I also interact with space and time. These Objects show things of the past process of the technical revolution like an IPhone from 10 years ago, these 10 years are a huge way in the development of our technology we deal with in everyday life. Since this series, I developed also other Object Series like the Everyday Object Series I mentioned befor, the Preserved Time Series  with for example an preserved clock in a liquid and the Light Object Series with LED Lights and colorful wood boxes etc. In all these series with different conceptual approaches like the painting, Mixed Media, Object or photograph series, my most important similarities are the bright colors and how they effect together with others in ever changing combinations or only two in a complementary contrast which is typical for my work.


"White on Wood with Rainbow on the Edges” - Spraypaint on woodbox, 2016

 

The list of places you’ve exhibited is impressive! Which has been your proudest one to date, where was it and what was your highlight piece from the show?

Without a question it was my first soloshow in New York City in 2016 in the Lower Eastside of Manhattan at Jill Connors Lazy Susan Gallery on Henry street. I have worked so hard in the last years in the artistic work and the management / marketing of it and I was so proud as I was on the plane to NYC to go there. This show had three events, an opening and closing reception plus a live Lightpainting Performance at Brooklyn Bridge park with the view of the Manhattan skyline. For my fortune there was the art critic Jonathan Goodman at the opening and he has written a very good review of it mentioning me as a very gifted artist. One of the artworks I and he likes a lot is my mixed Media work of a parade at Disney Land in Orlando which I shoot in 2015 as I was in Florida for a groupshow in Miami. This is an artwork of my blocked Daylight Series on which I added a massive composition of color blocks with faded colors of spraypaint on the surface of the photo. In 2011 i finished my visual art studies in September and I had my first international show in march this year, befor my examination, this was in Italy and since then I have more and more shows every year. From 2012 on I also join art fair around the world every year. My career was builded stone on stone by very hard work almost around the clock for the last year - I see it is worth the energy to fight for your goals….


Exhibition view of soloshow "Urban Games" at Weithorn Galerie Düsseldorf / Germany

 

FOR MORE FROM FABIAN VISIT www.fabian-freese.com

INTERVIEW by HANNAH SMITH

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