Friday, February 22, 2008

Frederic Molden at the Star Gallery

Showing at the Star Gallery, Oakland Center for the Arts, in conjunction with their performance "The Colored Museum" are the fine paintings and installations of Frederic "The Count" Molden. A Youngstown based artist with a substantial resume', his work has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, and is in the collections of such personalities as Michael Jordan and Jerome Bettis.

When I first entered the gallery I was struck by the installation pieces that feature many fine antiques from Molden's personal collection and which are family heirlooms. The most impressive of these is the assemblage(above) entitled "The Black Press: Soldiers with Swords" which addresses a family members involvement in early print media. Detail Shot of "Belly Rubbin' With Da Back Breaker" Oil on Canvas. 4x5 feet.

Detail shot of " Jukin' With Daddy Long Legs". Oil on Canvas. 3x4 feet.
As an oil painter myself I was greatly impressed with every aspect of the paintings and is is rare for me to make such a statement. (Please note that my photos do not do justice to the high quality of the original work). The skill level is amazing as is the use of color and composition. Much of the work is heavy with history and nostalgia, which some people may feel is a negative in certain artistic circumstances. However, Molden's rich technique and insight take this genre to a new and pleasing level. In many ways I am reminded of the great African American painter from Cleveland, Huey Lee Smith, although Molden certainly has his own unique style.
This show is a must see for those with a penchant for Regional Art. The entire gallery is warm and inviting and every piece in the show is compelling.
The Star Gallery is open during regular performance hours and one does not have to attend the performance to visit the gallery.

No comments: