Fred Mandell Author.Artist.Speaker.Creative Catalyst

Artist Statement

01selfportraitMy journey to sculpture and painting has been anything but direct.

I have always had a need to express myself through a variety of media. Early on this mostly took verbal form. Writing a Ph.D. dissertation. Writing a novel “The Morning Road’, Micah Publications,1978. Writing short stories and some poetry. Then there was a gap of perhaps twenty years as I focused on a career as an executive in the financial services.
Well you can’t keep it down forever and at midlife (that’s my mid fifties) I felt “stuff” roiling around inside me.

I enrolled in a sculpture workshop and all the stuff seemed to spill out into stiff awkward forms. Fortunately I had a patient teacher in Roger Junk and the three dimensional bronze forms began to directly reflect what I was trying to express. The human form still intrigues me. I try to create portrait busts that captured a moment but reflected the subject’s connection to something unspoken yet deeply felt or remembered.

After several years I turned to painting and drawing under the belief that in order to grow as an artist I needed to learn this fundamental language of the visual arts. Again, I was fortunate to come under the tutelage of Tim Harney, a wonderfully gruff but penetrating artist and teacher. He pushed me to surrender to the process of discovery through the visual medium. He taught me that creating is as much about the process(the journey) as about the outcome.

My visual interests still center on the human being in the context of personal memory and story. This has led me to concentrate on portraits where I have had the opportunity to get below the surface. How does the artist capture the story in compelling visual language? Picasso once posed a question: “Are we to paint what’s on the face, what’s inside the face or what’s behind it? Isn’t that the great question?” So it is. That’s what I’m working on.

To purchase or commission Fred’s work, please contact him directly via email.