Updated: May 15, 2022
Fluctuating between different modes of expression, Frederick Hayes has self-described his work in terms of inner and outer representation. He suggests his portraits are facades whereas his sculpture is the portrayal of what's inside. This seems to make sense as sculpture has an architectural framework of sorts, created from perhaps a foundation and scaffolding- components that join together, build, expand, house, protect. Portraits, on the other hand, have elements of literally being recognized at face value on a two-dimensional plane.
Of course, Hayes' work is much more complex than this simplification of his choice in genres: this is a deconstruction of the basic elements to much more sophisticated concepts and ideology based upon social systems- the individual versus the collective whole. Culture, class, identity, and relationships remain key themes that are the explored and thus represented. In his palette sculptures, Hayes takes pre-existing recognizable forms and transforms them: he builds upon, breaks down, re-constitutes and recreates matter into new identities. Although I am not certain, I don't believe he approaches his painting in the same way. Or maybe he does. We are given the basic outline of the face, but then the rich pigments are layered on and give us these gorgeous, saturated, expressive pieces that entice our eyes to linger and explore color, texture and features and how they create a complex human identity. They teeter on simplicity, but oscillate towards the profound in both execution and characterization.
Of course- maybe I don't have this completely right- and that's ok. In writing newsletter pieces, I find that when the artist joins us on Tuesday nights, much of what I previously understood is either validated, clarified or maybe even expunged. I rarely mind being wrong as I approach art with wonder and curiosity- which is an element of art's foundation. One of the beautiful things about The Large Glass is when we gather on Tuesday night, we learn and hear directly from the artists, and our understanding is deepened. I've felt this in the past few episodes, and have been so thankful for both the artists and for our community for helping me learn about and appreciate art.
Fred joined us recently to sip wine and chat about his portraits and sculptures. Check out Episode 89 here to see what Mr. Frederick Hayes has to say: