Interview: Fred Free

1. Please, introduce yourself, tell us a little bit about you.

i was born in 1962, lived in the ultimate new jersey suburb of levittown, played drums, studied architecture, designed buildings for awhile, became an illustrator, got into making books and collages, became fred free in 1997, gained a son, uploaded art, did this interview.

2. Recent, current or future projects you are involved in that you would like to share with us?

i recently restarted variety showcase – a basic blog featuring artists i like with the idea of turning it into more of a collaboration book/mag project at some point. future projects include more collage and found photo books and the always ongoing assorted random cut and paste actions.

3. What kind of things do influence your work?

the internet, the street, scraps, bits, my son, my thoughts, music, TV, people, distant galaxies.

4. How is your normal process of collaging? (idea or commission, where do you get your materials or find your images, which is your cutting technique, best way you have found to paste, where do you work and how, and very important: what do you do with your scraps)

my normal process starts with inspiration coming from finding something, anything, anywhere. i find old books, magazines and random stuff at the library (which has a permanent discarded book sale room), secondhand shops, yard sales and in alleys. i usually use scissors, but also rip and use the exacto when it feels right. for pasting, i have settled on using a simple gluestick after trying many other techniques. i work in my studio which is a converted sunroom at my house. my scraps rarely get thrown away and are often the main inspiration for getting started on a piece.

5. Which is your latest discovery in the collage world? What advice can you give to a collage beginner?

i recently came upon an artist named flick yoli. really free work.

advice i would give to a beginner is to work with an ever-changing percentage of intention and gut instincts, don’t be afraid to cut anything and always look on the ground when you’re walking around.

6. What do say your friends/family about your collage work? And, what do you do when you are not working on art?

i say very little as i like the work to do most of the talking. when i’m not working, i watch TV reruns from the 70s, drink beer or hang out with friends and family – sometimes all at the same time.

7. Would you like to ask anything to John Baldessari? Shoot.

yes. could you please drop by for some art, beer and TV?

8, just for Weird Pals. What for did you get into this WEIRD stuff?

i didn’t – it got into me.