In Fred Tieken’s paintings, the energy of street art is transformed through the artist’s feel for color and composition and his socially aware sense of humor. After years as a musician and then a graphic artist, Tieken found his voice as a painter by adding the clarity of graphic art to the uninhibited energy of jazz and rock music. Citing artists like Baselitz, Schnabel and Basquiat as influences, Tieken combines their signature primal energy and sophisticated sensibility with his own precise style and wry wordplay, bringing his images firmly into their own territory.
Painting in acrylics on surfaces that range from canvas to cardboard to aluminum (often adding elements of collage), Tieken uses bold brushstrokes to create complex areas of movement that provide each image with a strong surface energy. His color palette contributes another level of intensity — bursts of red, yellow and green animate his compositions. The artist says that for him, painting is like baring his soul to the world, and that level of emotional commitment comes vividly across in his work.