Eagle County artist Philip Frank’s painting on display in Vail
VAIL — Artist Philip Frank recently won the people’s choice award for his painting “Beauty at Black Mountain Ranch” at the recent Community Collective Exhibition in the Vail Public Library’s community room. Frank’s oil painting received the most votes out of the 15 works on display for a month-long exhibition that showcased Eagle County artists. As the winner, his painting will be displayed above the fireplace in the library beginning Monday and hanging through Jan. 13 as part of a rotating art program featuring Eagle County artists. Frank, who’s been an artist his whole life, moved to Vail four years ago to ski and hang out with his younger sister, Simona Frank, he said.
Though he’s overseas at the moment, this winter Frank will teach skiing part-time at Beaver Creek. It’s his fifth season doing so. But like many artists, Frank looks forward to the day his passion will sustain him.
“I hope that in a year or two I can rely more on income from my art rather than teaching skiing,” said Frank, whose parents are both artists.
‘BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER’
Looking at Frank’s website, it’s easy to see that his work is generally a touch more somber than “Beauty” — which he painted based on a photograph taken in the fall of 2013 at Black Mountain Ranch in McCoy — might lead you to believe.
“My artwork may be dark, but I believe if society wants to foster a sense of openness, coming to terms with the melancholic is just as important as seeing the light,” he writes on his site. “My goal as an artist is to have a positive effect on a broad spectrum of humanity. I believe art should bring people together, not alienate. Conveying concepts through imagery allows a diverse population of people to engage. Images break down language barriers and allow people the needed mental space to quietly process the daily loads of information thrown at them.”
Frank was in Germany the last few months at the artist residency Takt Berlin working alongside 20 other artists from across the world. He was busy creating a new body of detailed pen and ink drawings, including a drawing called “The Body in Conflict with the Scientific Paradigm.” Detailed doesn’t actually begin to describe the intricacies of the work, which took a month and a half to produce, he said.
“The series is inspired by the fact that we are currently existing in a technological and biological revolution,” Frank said. “Four years ago at my art college I took a biology class titled Art as the Biology of Life; the class discussions revolved around ethics related to process, science and technology.”
The professor believed that artists, philosophers and musicians are leaders in morality because scientists often overlook this aspect. And Frank tends to agree.
“Scientists can push an idea too far for the sake of progress,” he said. “Basically, if bioengineering is pushed too far without thinking ethically, one day we may end up with living things that look similar to my drawings. This is something that I do not want and comment on through my art.”
While in Berlin, Frank was published on a French website called Fubiz that provides daily articles about the best in contemporary creative culture. The site referred to Frank’s drawings as “surreal, even fantastic works.”
Frank is also a musician. Along with countless hours working on his art at Takt Berlin, he spent time creating a new song and playing his guitar, he said.
At the end of September Frank finished up the residency and headed to Prague to visit some extended family.
“After that I plan to travel North to Denmark, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Bergen in Norway,” he said. “Then travel south as the weather gets colder to see Amsterdam, Paris, Barcelona and as much of Italy as possible before I return to Colorado on Nov. 23.”
While Frank is making his way back to Eagle County for the winter, in the future, he has his sight set on getting his master’s of fine art degree in Europe.
High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at 970-748-2984 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @caramieschnell.
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