Dick Frizzell

Hawke’s Bay artist Dick Frizzell often slips through the nets of traditional critical and curatorial definition, with the success of his artistic career due in part to the dramatic diversions he has made between different
art styles and genres.

Before moving into fine arts, Dick worked in advertising as an animator, commercial artist and illustrator, and has no qualms about blurring the categories between his commercial work and art. His paintings are often a pastiche of images drawing on modern art and graphic design. His work has always been characterised by an endlessly inventive range of subject matter and styles: faux-naive New Zealand landscapes, figurative still lifes, comic book characters and witty parodies of modernist abstraction. His taste is conveniently broad and he has a penchant for fondly remembered and well-worn clichés, with his work portraying a sense of exuberance, ironic humour and baby-boomer nostalgia.

An anti-traditionalist, Dick often makes a deliberate effort to mix up the categories of high and low art, poking fun at the intellectualisation of ‘high art’ and the existential angst of much New Zealand painting in the art culture of his youth. Although primarily a painter, Dick also produces works on paper, including lithographs and screen prints.