We had the good fortune of connecting with Teresa Frazee and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Teresa, why did you pursue a creative career?
In my studio, I am alive, elsewhere I simply exist. Yet certainly, it was not my decision to pursue the Arts. Rousing to be materialized, “the calling”, was already chosen for me. Sequestered by compulsive artistic potency, instinctually led by an inward light guiding me home, it was not a matter of want. It was an unyielding driving force for the need to create, regardless of monetary gain or recognition. The urge for self-expression, this uncompromising fixation is principal to comprehending the maverick spirit of an artist. Enamored by the possibilities of a blank canvas, with tumescent energy, surrendering to the elasticity of the next creative vision, I utterly engage in self- realization, probing individualism and artistic pursuits, with unmasked intensity, crossing the boundary of pedestrian limitations, characteristic of normalcy. I am mercilessly dedicated to exposing the bond of equal weight, of which spontaneity and predetermined fundamentals interact, within a well balanced composition of reinvented space. This is where my passion thrives. It is in the midst of this controlled randomness that I am entrenched as an artist. In the early years, long after the love affair with coloring was over, I was left with those always interesting crayons. The sound they made when you cracked them in two and after sharpening them, the remnants of the chromatic curled shavings were a curious find. Unraveling the paper wrapper around each crayon, I often would take advantage of summer’s high temperature, by placing the unwrapped cylindrical spectrum of color in an artful array on the griddle hot, steel Bilco cellar door. The collaboration between the baking sun and my primitive arrangement had created aesthetically beautiful melted primary colored works of art. Composition, design and a sense of color, were the beginning lessons of the visual language of form and shadow. This was a big leap from staying in the lines. The creative process impressed me profoundly, holding my imagination hostage. My juvenile junction with Bohemia had ignited. As for me, the habitual wearing of beatnik black had begun. Establishing beyond question my supreme purpose was to join the artists, musicians and poets. There was no compensation plan nor would there be any compromised distractions. My internal scream was expressed with numerous disciplines available to me at the time, paints, pencils, makeup, jewelry making or singing in the church choir. As far back as I can remember, as soon as I could hold a crayon, chalk, pencil or paintbrush between my fingers, I was a student of art and its philosophies. 

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Born, 1953 in New York City, I am a child of the 60s and 70s, one of the prophets of a generation of fringe and leather, protesting the customs of the day, with a dialect and mode of social cohesion. My work has the acute sense of the decadence and stylized life occurring in NYC at the time. There is a resurrection of recollections where the past locked in the iconography of its era survives. These urban influenced acrylic paintings are executed from reconfiguring patterns of memories of construction sites plastered with overlapping torn bills and posters of upcoming cultural events, reminiscent of the surfaces of walls found on NYC streets, which now bear traces left by time. My most recent oeuvre has been inspired by the past and has evolved into the present, with the utilization of pigments of earth tones, white, gray and black, imbued into a complex interplay on textured canvas. With a strong feeling of allegiance, the city is encapsulated in these pieces, where the surface presents itself as a receptacle for a lost period that embodied the spirit of a subculture. The treatment of the canvas is acrylic paint and Venetian plaster, replicating the finish of a stucco wall. I use methodologies and procedures to reinvigorate fragmented materials, where manifestos, homages, text, numbers, symbols and totems become the central elements, which claim and unify the textured space. An urban backdrop is viewed behind an interrupted entanglement of lines or grid providing a sharp tonal contrast of planes and contours against the starkness in participation in harmony of the whole. These works from selected perception with NYC’s geographical references come full circle. They are part of my identity, hatched from incubated memories and prior experiences. I consider these abstract paintings, self portraits, more so than merely nostalgic works. I have created as long as I can recall and from each medium I gained something valuable, which still applies in my current work. I have been a visual artist for over 35 years with well over 200 invitational, juried and international exhibits, including solo shows in galleries, museums and other venues, receiving many honors. I also have been pursuing my other love, writing, with numerous poems and short stories published. I am a playwright as well, with several of my plays produced. Inside my world of make-believe, I paint and I write what I believe to be true. Bound by the creative force, I leave reality entirely up to you. If a single creed has guided me since my first artistic endeavor it has been, “Be true to your work and your work will be true to you.” And even more, I am most certainly a student of art and its philosophies.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens 400 Morikami Rd. Boca Raton Museum of Art 501 Plaza Real, Mizner Park Norton Museum of Art 1450 Dixie Hwy, WPB Art Serve 1350 E. Sunrise Blvd. Fort Lauderdale For Lunch or Dinner and a day out.   

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to give special thanks to John Frazee for his support, love and encouragement. I dedicate my shout out to him. John has been and continues to be a successful visual artist and writer. John is a bona fide New Yorker who always knew the guts of the city. Sensitive to my evolutionary needs John and our city delivered. When he was still in art school, we met on the dance floor in a New York Club back in the 60s. We became a pair of one ever since. In 1972 we vowed to love each other endlessly. Our souls consented. Being artists we couldn’t commit to reality, nor would we. Suspending the clockwork of reality, through dimensions of space together, in a summoning artistic odyssey that reigns continually, is where we tend to linger. John is the ultimate creator. He is my blue sphere of light filled with brilliance, originality, innovation, lateral thinking and pure knowledge. He relies on his endless wealth of ideas to feed on. His most recent series, Burnt Offerings, are mostly large works painted with fire. He has devoted his entire life to art, so when someone views a piece of his work and asks, “How long did “sumptin” like that take you?” Unhampered by fear, without blinking an eye and without any hesitation he honestly answers, 55 years. To describe John’s authenticity, Oscar Wilde stated it best, “The true artist is a man who believes absolutely in himself, because he is absolutely himself.”

Website: www.frazeefinearts.com
Linkedin: www.linkedin.com Teresa Frazee
Facebook: www.facebook.com/TeresaFrazee

Image Credits
Frazee Fine Arts

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