A literal look at Dick Frizzell’s creative process

Michael Humphrey, a director at production company 8com, has made a short film about how iconic Kiwi artist Dick Frizzell creates his notorious screen-prints to promote an exhibition of the artist’s work at the MTG Gallery in Hawke’s Bay.

As Frizzell carefully explains the meticulous process of the creation of his screen prints in the video, the director inter-cuts the film with humorous shots of literal interpretations of what Frizzell is saying.

When Frizzell uses words like expose, hose and run an actor literally carries out all of these actions.

The exhibition opened on 28 March and will run until 23 August this year. A release says that Frizzell gifted a major collection of artist proofs to the Hawke’s Bay Museums Trust – a set of works, retained by the artist, which had been produced in addition to each of his limited edition prints. “Artist’s Proof takes us on a whistle-stop tour through this collection,” says the release.

A short description of Frizzell’s work on the Gow Langsford Gallery website says: “Dick Frizzell’s work has always been characterised by a highly skilled handling of paint and an endlessly inventive range of subject matter and styles: faux-naive New Zealand landscapes, figurative still-life, comic book characters and witty parodies of modernist abstraction. His taste is conveniently broad and he has a penchant for fondly remembered and well-worn clichés.

“His work also portrays a sense of exuberance, ironic humour and baby-boomer nostalgia. An anti-traditionalist, Frizzell often makes a deliberate effort to mix up the categories of high and low art – poking fun at the intellectualisation of ‘high art’ and the existential angst of much New Zealand painting in the art culture of his youth.”

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