|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|Having begun painting with oil and acrylics in the late 1970s, Francis
"Frankie" Brown refers to his work as "splatter-dash paintings"
because they are so similar to the gestural paintings of Jackson
Pollock. No one has accused him of doing 'knock offs' of
Pollock's work, but he believes that the very much publicized assertion
by Teri Horton that she owns a Pollock and the film made to support her
claim, is, in fact, a reference to one of his paintings. "It's
certainly not a Pollock. It could be mine." He makes that
statement from comparing the brushstrokes but says he would need to see
the actual painting to determine if it is his work.|
About painting like Pollock, he said: "Yes, anyone can do it. Not
they don't look the same. What I learned the most from Jackson Pollock
is discipline and thrift. It's all one piece. There is no
up or down. No composing or designing. No drips. The
viewer sees whatever." However, his work does differ in an obvious way
from Pollock's in that Brown has a brighter palette, uses much more
paint, much thinner lines, spends much time on backgrounds using gesso
and a background color, and sometimes uses gold leaf and "really
shiny gold paint" in his work. He does not think that Pollock
would have access to the same kind of 'shiny' paint. However,
like Pollock, Brown works with a commitment of letting the work take
shape without pre-planning and by applying paint to a canvas laid flat
on the floor.
Brown's first exhibition of his work was in October, 1979 at the Clam
Broth House in Hoboken, New Jersey, and later he had exhibitions in New
York, Illinois and California.
He was born in Manhattan and grew up in Newark, New Jersey, but lived
his adult life in California. In 1970, he graduated from Cal
State, with a business degree and teaching certificate in art and
industrial arts. First he worked as an accountant, but then
switched his focus to making art. Opening his studio, he first
did photography and then ceramics, metal and conceptual art. He
became the first director of the gallery in the new student union at
Cal Tech in 1976, and also served as coordinator of the crafts
During this period he developed the philosophy that art should be away
from studios and 'out there' in the world. He belonged to the
Dada movement and participated in Dada parades in San Francisco.
In 1978, he began the Pollock-style paintings, an activity that evolved
from his belief that art was much more related to space and color than
the depiction of realist scenes from his surroundings. From that
time, he has done hundreds of paintings, and has exhibited all over the
world, especially in Eastern Europe.
For 13 years he had a studio in Palm Springs and continues to spend
time there, although he lives primarily in Chico, California.
Of future plans he says, "he hopes some day to live in outer space."
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