Peyton Freiman “Know Frills”

Shin Gallery (66-68 Orchard St.)

poster for Peyton Freiman “Know Frills”
[Image: Peyton Freiman "No Fears Man" (2021) Oil on Canvas, 60 x 72 in.]

This event has ended.

Shin Gallery presents KNOW FRILLS, with new works by Peyton Freiman (b. 1983). This will be Freiman’s fourth solo show with Shin Gallery and marks his first exhibition that consists entirely of oil paintings, eschewing the mixed materials and social mindsets of his previous shows in favor of exploring his initial love of artists like Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin.

A double entendre, “know frills” here means “no frills” paintings without the embroidery or collage of past works, unconcerned with the outside world or current events. By focusing on the simple beauty of color, line, and shape, Freiman creates an interior world filled with characters that inhabit Freiman’s wavy, copacetic landscapes and interiors.

The body of work began in 2020, and started with a focus on rural country life. Freiman casts himself as “The Farmer”, seen here loping through several paintings toting baskets of eggs as part of his daily chores. The Farmer dons a large straw hat and work boots, both acting as references to Van Gogh and to highlight the simple joys of taking care of what you can, like daily chores and farm animals.

In the painting “No Fears Man!”, the artist depicts a time directly after international news of covid began developing. Wracked with depression and anxiety, the artist was sent a single tab of acid by a friend in the mail for his birthday. After spending 12 hours walking around in a psychedelic haze the initial anxieties Freiman once had melted and gave way to a cosmic understanding that he had no control of the vast majority of things happening and that he had to accept it.

The second meaning to “know frills” leads to the introduction of another character Freiman threads throughout paintings in the exhibit. “Wavy”, a puckish wild card in the form of a joint smoking, absinthe drinking frill lizard is inspired by the lizards skittering outside the artist’s studio. Wavy represents the artist’s desire to embrace uncertainty in an uncertain world and how in many ways one can be measured by their response to chaos.

The painting “Still Wavy After All These Fears” echoes that drug induced epiphany with a wry wink at Van Gogh’s painting “Skull of a Skeleton With Burning Cigarette”. In Freiman’s case, the cigarette is not tobacco, but cannabis, and a reference to his own reliance on cannabis to deal with the enduring anxieties of the moment. By adding the speech bubble, Freiman references the comics he read as a child and American bumper sticker kitsch punchlines seen on Goodwill T-shirts hanging all over the country.

As the body of work grew and quarantine kept him isolated, Freiman turned from rural scenes to interiors filled with figures. Bars, house parties, and jam sessions in run-down apartments all show the artists longing for community and a good time.

Modeled after the Parisian bar scenes of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and the biergarten paintings of Nicole Eisenman, Freiman filled his bar scenes with friends and people he knew working at bars in the Lower East Side and Brooklyn. “Friday Night At the Absinthe House” is filled with Freiman’s familiar maximalism, and feels immediately modern and of another time simultaneously. Can-can dancers perform beneath televisions playing Xanax commercials and space flight. Freiman paints himself into the scene, playing piano in a Metallica tour T-shirt (one of many tour tees seen throughout) and singing along with a group of revelers. All while Wavy, our wildcard lizard friend, pours himself absinthe in the Parisian style, over a cube of sugar.

Alongside numerous references to the Impressionists, Freiman adds a new graphic minimalism to his work unlike anything he has done before, inspired largely by the flat color backgrounds found in the paintings of Carroll Dunham and Alex Katz. “In It Together”. “Like it or Not” sees Freiman referencing 60’s comics and Tom and Jerry cartoons by painting four cats with their tails tied together, each angrily trying to get away from the other by clawing away. The symbolism, much like the image, is simple: the natural world is tied together whether any of us want to admit it or not.



from July 07, 2021 to August 15, 2021


Peyton Freiman

  • Facebook


    All content on this site is © their respective owner(s).
    New York Art Beat (2008) - About - Contact - Privacy - Terms of Use