Lagerquist Gallery Collection
Black Halo: A More Practical Mysticism
The halo's golden light symbolizes the saint, the seeker of hidden truth whose diligent virtue shines out onto the world. Fred has coined the term "black halo" to represent a different kind of seeker - a flawed, gruff, plain, would-be saint who stumbles and falls but nevertheless soldiers on. The path for the "black halo saint" does not involve setting self-imposed challenges or achieving goals. Instead, this seeker follows "the way of negation," a term used by theologians and mystics to describe a shedding of familiar habits to seek the core self.
Fred is now exploring this concept in this new series, begun in August 2016. The process has allowed him to step out of what he's always found comfortable and set aside familiar but perhaps tired habits. In doing so, he's uncovered a more minimalist sensibility and a fresher artistic vocabulary that speaks in a quiet yet resonant voice.
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These paintings reflect Fred's ongoing dialogue with Abstract Expressionism, exploring the tension between that movement's purely conceptual use of color and composition and his own love of figurative drawing. These works typically begin with a figure drawn on canvas; color is then layered on, often - but not always - erasing the representational elements. The result is a lively reconfiguration of the original drawing, as images are transformed by Fred's bold colors and detailed brushwork.