Family | Frank Frazier
30 x 40
Frank Frazier began his work as a fine artist early, at the age of seven. He was creating paintings in his family’s Harlem, New York City home. A husband and father of five, he recalls growing up, “we were not poor, but my family was a little different.” At the age of 15, his family moved to downtown New York City, which precipitated his “getting into a lot of trouble” as a youngster. A move to Queens, New York, brought with it a stint at a boys’ institution in upstate New York, but it also marked the point where Frazier turned his life around. While at the school, he was responsible for creating art for the “different bunks.” Teachers noticed his talent and later as a Sergeant in the Army during Vietnam, officers gave him the responsibility of painting art and shirts for the platoons. Frazier’s designs included a mixture of different scenes which he completed for free; he and his fellow soldiers weren’t thinking about money when they did their work. Amazingly, after his stint in the service, “I recall my family throwing lots of my art away.” Ironically, today it is the love and support of his immediate and “great extended family” that inspires him.
This sculptor, painter, and collagist cites the Creator as his biggest influence. “The Creator inspires me. He puts whatever I need in me. He also admits that he “loves black women and likes to use them in his art.” Frazier also credits Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, and Elizabeth Cattlett as his biggest artistic inspirations. Speaking on how the Diaspora influences his art, Frank muses, “I go to Senegal, West Africa a lot. Many of my collages are influenced from there.” As far as the media he works with, the sky is the limit. “I paint with oils, watercolors, and charcoal, anything that’s available,” says Frazier.