Styles, Freddie, (Owl)
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"Owl" by Freddie Styles
8 x 10 inches painting on canvas --unframed
A native of Georgia, Freddie is a committed abstractionist, although references to nature have been at the center of his paintings and collages throughout his long career. He is an avid gardener, and the distinction between this passion and his passion for making art is blurred – each symbiotically informing the other.
For the past several years, Freddie Styles has been creating works of uncommon and resonating beauty. In a truly unique process, Styles presses layers of crinkled fax paper (the old-fashioned coated type) onto wet acrylic paint on silver coated gessoed paper. The kaolin coating on the fax paper adheres to the drying acrylic paint, some of the silver paint is revealed which creates another layer of depth to the works. During this process some of the paint adheres to the strips of fax paper, which are recycled to create his “Evolving” and “Silver Trees” series of collages. Styles’ process informs his work, and the outcome of each piece is unpredictable. In other words, the artist is both controlling and relinquishing control of his materials, and this conceptual stance is his departure point.
His forms are reminiscent of organic vegetation, but his interpretation of the organic world stripped down to its essential vascular structure is not meant to be literal. Styles has achieved a unique method of reflecting nature’s forms, textures, patterns, and colors, revealing a window to a more spiritual world and imbuing his audience with a new appreciation.
Freddie Styles attended Morris Brown College and lives in Atlanta. He has served as an artist-in-residence at Clark Atlanta University, Clayton State University, and Spelman College. In the past, Styles received purchase awards from the Atlanta University Art Annuals and Atlanta Life Insurance Company. In 1997, Styles joined the ranks of the Who’s Who of international artists when he was commissioned to create an ad for Absolut Vodka. In 2001, he was awarded a King Baudouin Foundation Cultural Exchange Program grant through the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta to work and study in Belgium. From 2003-2008 he served as Gallery Director and Curator of City Gallery East. During his tenure at City Gallery East, he worked closely with the City of Atlanta’s Art On Loan Program participating in the acquisition and placement of work in city offices including the Mayor’s office, the Civic Center and various recreation centers.
Styles has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including “African American Abstraction” at City Gallery East in Atlanta; “Evolving”, a solo show at the Airport Atrium Gallery at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and Kiang Gallery in Atlanta; “Old, New, Borrowed, Blue” at Clark-Atlanta University; “Roots, Needles and Fax” at the Tubman Museum in Macon, GA; and “Freddie Styles” at the Bill Hodges Gallery in NYC. Museum group exhibitions include the Telfair Museum of Art in Savannah, GA and most recently, “Drawing Inside the Perimeter” at the High Museum in Atlanta, GA, the American Embassies’ in Sierra Leone, South Africa and Trinidad & Tobago, “Traditions Defined Redefined”; and The Brenda and Larry Thompson Collection at the Georgia Museum of Art in Athens, GA. One of his paintings was included, and sold in the recently concluded Swann Auction Galleries auction, “Point of Departure: Postwar African American Art.“
His work can be found in public and private collections that include: the HIGH Museum, Atlanta, GA; Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Atlanta, GA; MOCA/GA, Atlanta, GA; Spelman College Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA; the City of Atlanta, Clark Atlanta University Collection, Atlanta, GA; Metro Health Center Collection, Cleveland, Ohio; The Saint Louis Museum, Saint Louis, MO; King and Spalding Collection, Atlanta, GA; Kerry and C Betty Davis Collection, Clarkston, GA; Kenneth and Cynthia Prince Collection, Stone Mountain, GA; the Robert W Woodruff Library, AU Center, Atlanta, GA; The IP Steinbeck Museum and Planetarium, Orangeburg, SC; Atlanta Housing Collection, Atlanta, GA; the Paul Jones Collection, Atlanta, GA; the University of Delaware; the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa; the Brenda and Larry Thompson Collection, Chautauqua, NY, Washington, DC, Atlanta, GA and Sea Island, GA; The Georgia Museum, Athens, GA ; Absolut Vodka, Sweden; and private collections in Germany, Belgium and France.