Frey borders a style somewhere between realism and abstraction. His work is familiar but has a composition that allows some leeway. “I’ve always been interested in abstraction, particularly the moving line between abstraction and representation. It’s a fun and fruitful place to explore,” he says. “I sometimes think about how can I paint the essence of something or a place through an economy of brush strokes.”
When your business is called Maine Art, people come looking for images captured not only in the spirit of Maine but often times in the places of Maine. The three artists currently featured at Maine Art Shows do just that.
“All three artists have strong ties to Maine and capture the true essence of the state,” says gallery owner John Spain. “Though each has distinctively different styles and subjects, the show as a whole is a wonderfully cohesive body of work.”
“I have a need to explore and discover and stretch my limits as a painter. City scapes, abstracts and figuratives are a way for me to do that,” says Frey. “I often wonder how this effects my landscapes. I believe it influences in a positive way. Working with pure abstraction helps me break down what composition could be. In turn, my landscape composition has become more dynamic.”
“When you put it all together, it becomes clear that I am interested in evoking the essence of appearances and my experiences in an abstract realist manner,” says Frey. “There are definitely specific formal concerns and many artistic influences spanning a lifetime, but I don’t want to say too much about those, lest I spoil the mystery and magic.” Philip Frey’s mystery and magic is found in every piece of his work. Though his subjects vary, this does not. Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture has a large collection of Frey’s work in our main gallery on 14 Western Ave. However, Changing Light, along with two others, are part of the Choice Art Show at Maine Art Shows, 10 Chase Hill in Kennebunk. This show will be running until June 30th.
Like so many artists, giving back and sharing skills and knowledge found its way into Philip Frey’s life. Aristotle said, “Those who know, do. Those that understand, teach.” Not only did teach students at the high school level, but he was just crazy enough to take on the role of the K-8 art teacher on Swan’s Island right here in Maine. Teaching is still very much part of Philip’s world. He hosts various workshops and classes for children and adults.
We have all seen them, these ‘free-range’ children. Some of us were even lucky enough to have been one. They are the children who head out the door with bathing suits on underneath their clothes on a bicycle that used to belong to someone else. They are the children who, when the first light of day breaks, “go play” until summoned home for a meal, or more likely, bed-time. They are the children of Maine.
When speaking with Philip about this show, some specific pieces of work, and how he moves through the creation of his work, he paraphrased Jackson Pollack. “It’s about the paint and the process, its not about the artist.”
To uncover the secrets and stories behind a piece of art is one thing, to discover the physical secrets hidden underneath the paint is quite another.
Next Saturday, June 27th, from 5-7 pm, Philip Frey will host the opening of his solo show, New Work, with Maine Art Shows. All three rooms of the gallery at 10 Chase Hill will be filled with pieces Philip has put together for this one-man show.