Scott Fraser (American, b. 1957) is a leading figure in twenty-first century realist painting, specializing in taking ordinary objects and composing them in extraordinary ways.
Many adjectives have been used to describe his work: quirky, intense, humorous, thoughtful; but above all, there is a sense of the personal in his unique compositions.
Fraser taps into a variety of influences, including art history, former teachers, friends and family.
His work can be found in over 25 museum collections around the country including the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Denver Art Museum; the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; and the Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH.
Trompe l’Oeil Paintings by Scott Fraser:
“Peacock Swallowtail – Front and Back” is part of a recent series I have been doing on butterflies. The difference between the top and bottom sides of their wings is fascinating to me. It’s hard to believe they are the same butterfly, with such variation of markings and color. The greatest challenge is capturing their luminosity with oil paint, which will never match the real-life iridescence of the tiny scales on their wings.
I have always been fascinated by spirals. They have a visual magnetism that draws people in. I find this works particularly well with shells and their accompanying shore-line debris. The objects in this spiral were all collected from places in Nantucket when my wife and I visited the island for my solo show in 2015. We had a delightful time beach combing and exploring the area. I am from Colorado, so anytime I visit places by the ocean, I collect shells and objects with the idea they might end up in a painting someday.
The design of “Watch Tower” may look random but in fact I spent a lot of time creating the complex structure of pencils woven together in a way that is strong and stable. I like the visual impact of the sharp pencils cradling the tender fruit. I frequently put pears in my still-lifes since their shape evokes the human form.
I love art history, and in “Sinking Ship” have used this particular woman’s face from Georges de La Tour’s painting, “The Fortune Teller” in several other paintings. It has a different impact depending on the subject matter around it. This time her face is on a produce bag and she is eyeing the ship off her starboard side. There is strong visual tension created by the goldfish fleeing from the sinking ship to the opening in the bottom of her portrait. I leave what happens behind that little door to the viewer’s imagination.
My intention in “(Take a Seat) Levitation,” is for the viewer to imagine that the chairs are being levitated by the silver egg. It reminds me of old-school stage magic such as spoon bending or sleight of hand. I love the sculptural quality of this little silver egg with its bird feet. Its reflective surface captures my whole studio in a microcosm. I have used it in a number of paintings since its quirky construction lends itself to such a variety of narrative possibilities.
This exhibition of new works is on view through August 20, 2020 Nantucket at Quidley and Co.