Born Donald Hugh Frazell, in Long Beach. Ca. 1959 email@example.com
Raised there, by a mother who graduated from the Philadelphia College of Art at the beginning of World War 2. Raised no nonsense, but with great knowledge of, and appreciation for, ancient Mediterranean, Pre-Columbian, and Asian art.
Attended Long Beach City College, at first with a History major in mind. Switched to photography, getting a degree, and winning many college competitions. Then moving on to CSULB, with again the intention of majoring in World History. Not so much to teach, but to understand why we are what we have become. For only by understanding our current ideas and how they formed can we contribute to our World culture. As many ideas have evolved by irrational circumstance, some tested and found to be sane, stable, and beneficial to mankind. Though not nearly as many as we would like to believe. Most of our believes are simply reactions to the situations we live in, yet there is always more. And that sense of God, of the eternal, however brief and fleeting it shines in our lives, exists and endures.
This is why I continue to explore through Art. For me, art is not self-expression, that we do everyday, in every decision we make, but has nothing to do with the Creative Arts. It is the discovery and revelation of the order around us, the purpose we must have to grow and become more.
I am a Modern artist. I seek structure in the chaos around us, a chaos we perceive, but truly is not. That we cannot see them does not mean that purpose and order do not exist. They do, and this is a strength I have always had, to see patterns, form, light, direction, flow, God in much of life. In photography, I use Black and White to cut through the surface, to see the growth and energy in the earth, the water, the world around us. Death and decay rebuild into new forms, to create life once more. It is eternal. We are not. Some feel inferiority before the endless Universe, a void. I see creation. Power. Passion. We are but a link in a varied culture man has created, and but a speck in the immensity of Life. This gives me great joy, and contentment, as I am part of so much more. And want to reveal this to others. It Exists.
I see all arts of the past to be about God, whether in the cave art found in European prehistory, or the ceramics and jewelry of Mesopotamia. The palace and paintings of Knossos. The clay figures of pre-Columbian America. The screens and sword hilts of Shogun Japan. The masks and wood fetishes of Africa. The painted lodgings and ceremonial tattoos of Oceania. The embodiment of God as creative energy by Michelangelo on the Sistine ceiling. The understanding of matter in all things, air, water, earth, and the structure within, by Cézanne. The order of sounds, through melody, harmony, and rhythm in Miles and Coltrane, to reveal humanities passion. This is where I pick up the chain. The realization of line as melody, color as harmony, composition and structure as rhythm, the pulse of life. In Photography, the lines of earth, plant, animal, water and sky, the structure and order they reveal. The melody as they surge, coursing their way through matter, organic, and rock. The tones and textures enliven the forms, the light comes from within, for they are not pictures of things. but created designs, prints of the order and breath of life.
I began painting, as I wished to use the human form, color, and the flesh of paint, to discover further. To find another avenue of revelation. For God still exists. The concept perhaps beyond our comprehension, yet is all around us, part of us, and gives us purpose, meaning, and fulfillment. I am not interested in dogma, though Church and religious doctrines I know quite well, a huge part of history, as well as economics, politics, environment, and war. To understand us as people, we must know our past, or we will miss the natural vanity and self. aggrandizement which we all possess, and must keep in check. I am not done, and will change as does life, but the underlying truth around us, the order in chaos, is what I seek. Always.
The Black and White photographs are 90% large format, and 10% medium format on 120 film, processed by hand by the artist. Scanned on a Scitex scanner, formed and enhanced in Photoshop, and printed on the Lightjet 430, all completely by the artist. The color photographs are 35mm slides, processed by Kodak, scanned and printed by the artist. Prints are up to 22x28, on 24x30 Fuji Crystal Archive glossy paper The paintings are all in oils, on canvas and cotton duct, bought and stretched by the artist on self-made frames. Sizes vary from 4' to 10'. Prints of the paintings are from large format transparencies shot, scanned, and printed by the artist. The photographs begin in 1978, the paintings begun in 1984