Dick Frizzell’s previous career as a graphic artist in advertising is reflected in his virtuoso display of striking colour and graphic verve. Blurring the categories between his commercial work and art, Frizzell appropriates everyday objects and images from their usual context and creates an icon out of the ordinary.
A strong sense of exuberance, humour and baby-boomer nostalgia is clearly evident in the resulting images in which Frizzell boldly offers his ironic slant on popular culture. In True Colours Frizzell references Andy Warhol’s renowned Hollywood film star screenprints substituting Warhol’s figures with the iconic New Zealand character of the Four Square man. Red Haring V pays tribute to the radiant baby images of American pop artist Keith Haring while other works such as Reclining Woman capture the glamour and drama of popularised comic book characters.
Frizzell created one of his most publicly controversial series to date with his popular modernist interpretation of the Tiki image rendered in the various classic styles of international artists such as Matisse (Cutout Tiki), and Leger (Legerdemain III). It’s About Time is a re-edition of Frizzell’s earlier Mickey to Tiki screenprint that features the American icon Mickey Mouse metamorphosing into the Tiki image.