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SPRING/BREAK 2021 HEARSAY:HERESY David B. Frye: Seasons in Hell

Exhibition on view September 8-13, 2021, 11am-8pm 

625 Madison Avenue, NYC, Booth #1041

Seasons in Hell is David B. Frye’s third exhibition of solo work at SPRING/BREAK ART SHOW. He is returning with a body of works made in 2020 that depict devils in daily life in Hell. His painted wood panels are framed with striped mattress ticking fabric and depict symbolic narratives of the devil’s daily activities. Each vignette, such as the large carved wood sculpture of the devil Napoleon, suggests that the devil admires and celebrates humanity’s cruelest moments.

Is it hearsay or heresy? Each vignette seeks to record the nuances of the devil’s varied activities. Is it heresy to reveal the devil’s human side? Is it hearsay to suggest the devil delights in human failings and celebrates our atrocities as proof of his good work? Frye’s intricately imagined hellscape even shows the operating room where devils produce walking anatine abominations. Is it heresy to depict the dark lord’s process?

David B. Frye uses a narrative painterly style and flattened planes to show figures in dramatic relation. Frye illustrates the bellicose bastards of the past, moments of the devil’s life, making him real and worldly. We see Lucifer primping before a night out, visiting sex workers, those sirens of the capitalist system, and brokering deals with more modern demons such as Dracula buying addresses of uptight English Women. We see devils in their daily mischief, devils putting on a circus, destroying flowers, and policing their fellow devil motorists.

The devil maintains presence in our daily lives while leading his own life filled with desires and trials like ours. His more glamorous moments are tarnished by his need for ruin and scorn, suggesting the devil torments himself much as he torments the utterly human subject of Rimbaud’s famous poem: "Deserve death with all your appetites, your selfishness, and all the capital sins!” Frye crafts an intricate and perhaps relatable Hell, exposing the source of evil as absurd and at times, absurdly, mundane.

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