Gathering inspiration from his dreams, found artifacts, and iconographic imagery, Fred Stonehouse- a Milwaukee native discussed his artwork and process to a packed room at the Tory Folliard Gallery this past Saturday on January 7th.
Humorous and spirited Stonehouse fell right into place as he launched into a stimulating storyteller role he seemed born to embrace. Leading the audience along a carefree ride through his imagination, which was wildly entertaining, he often evoked laughter and applause from the standing room only crowd.
A blend of often playful and satirical artwork Stonehouse invites the viewer to jump into his personal world of flea markets and found objects, treasures overlooked and often discarded by the populace these intimate finds become the beauty and fuel to his passion and fire.
Growing up amongst religious imagery and icons we can see how Stonehouse’s paintings which draw from his past experiences are both a transformation and empowerment of these loaded and powerful images. In particular we can see in his Marschmeister series that he takes careful patience and time while creating each artwork, reinvestigating the meaning of this imagery and places them into a new historical context. Not quite fairytale or folklore his paintings are a current mix between mythology, religion, and present day thought.
Masterfully crafted paintings, Stonehouse’s artwork is engaging and thought provoking while remaining fresh, enticing, and contemporary. I appreciate his vision and can’t wait to see what his next extraordinary idea may be.