Frederick McSwain is an unconventional artist who’s recent work “BrokenOff Broken Off” was made both as a tribute to his late friend Tobias Wong, and to the randomness that life presents human beings with. McSwain’s sculptural artwork is a compositional flat portrait made entirely out of dice. The dice, flipped to one of 6 faces become the shades and tones of his friend’s face. What an artistic way to remember someone’s life. Tobi, as Mcswain called him, was a fun-loving man, and in the spirit of his down-to-earth persona- McSwain’s assembly of dice was set on the floor instead of being hung like traditional artworks. McSwain’s creative ingenuity allowed him to portray the human being in a true essence of his existence- with a choice and a randomness. We’re not always in sync with the cards we are dealt, but throughout the history of our lives, we get to select what “face” our memories will show us. Its not about what happens to us, but how we react to those things that defines who we are.
Artists are just ordinary people like you and me. They talk differently in their own own quirky voices. Some of em’ paint with ice, others spell with dice. Language is language, and the visual arts is in fact one of the most widely appreciated languages of our time. The only fallback of this uniquely human language is also its most defining trait. Some people think art is very easily misunderstood, but the reality of the media speaks through its diversity of interpretations. Every meaning an individual associates with an artwork makes it more powerful.
Experience and imagination rule over fact, and logic is denied its singular form. The next time you evaluate an artwork, realize that each of the billions of people around the world could be standing in the room right next to you- but seeing something entirely different.