The Hero’s Journey of Fred Tieken

What is the best thing that I love about my work?After working as an art director/graphic designer for a number of years, I love being able to create what I like without worrying about pleasing others. I keep my favorite anonymous quote in my studio – “Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.”

What is my idea of perfect happiness? Accomplishing everything I’ve set out to do.

What is my greatest fear? That I die before I’ve accomplished everything I’ve set out to do.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?I have a lot of nervous energy and I’m very impatient.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire? I admire Emmeric Konrad for his take-no-prisoners attitude both in his art and his life. I also admire Julian Schnabel for his continuing relevance in the world of art and for writing and directing the beautiful movie about Jean Michel Basquiat. It is the best movie ever produced and I’ve watched it countless times.

What is my greatest extravagance? Owning and operating two galleries along with my wife Gail.

On what occasion would I lie? When I was very young, I told all my friends that I had a pony. I was eventually found out and I was so embarrassed that I switched to small exaggerations from there on.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? It really bothers me when someone walks by my work without an expression on their face.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work? See attached video link. A day in my studio is a great day!

If I could, what would I change about myself? I would like to have Brad Pitt’s good looks.

What is my greatest achievement in work? Being able to share the rewards of my labors with others less fortunate.

What do the words ‘The Financial Freedom to Create’ mean to me?It means not having to worry if I’m going to buy paint or groceries.

Where would I most like to live? Phoenix and Los Angeles of course and New York when the weather is nice.

What is my most treasured possession?My family.

What is my most marked characteristic?I whistle when I paint.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city? My studio and sculpture garden in Paradise Valley.

What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city?My wife Gail and I aren’t really into fine dining so we like casual places with really good food. Simmzy’s or James Beach in Venice Beach and True Food Kitchen or Postino in Phoenix are some of our favorite restaurants.

What books influenced my life and how? I’m more into art books than prose. I bought a book of Basquiat’s art at Brooklyn Art Museum quite a few years ago. That book and that incredible show had a powerful impact on me.

Who are my favorite writers?There are so many good writers, it’s hard to say. I usually prefer non-fiction.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day?Metallica, Iggy Pop, The Cramps, Charlie Parker.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? Red Rider

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?Jean Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, Picasso, Julian Schnabel.

Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime?Besides Basquiat, Fargo

What role plays art in my life and work?It obsesses me.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? My wife Gail. We have been married for 47 years and have always worked together, first in music, then in graphic design and advertising and now in art.

Whom would I like to work with in 2018?I hadn’t really thought about this but I guess anyone who understands and appreciates my work.

Which people in my profession would i love to meet in 2018?If the coming year can be as good as this past year I will be happy. I have made so many new friends in the Los Angeles area. Added to my old friends in Phoenix and beyond, I’m a lucky guy.

What project, in 2018, am I looking forward to work on? Right now, I’m really enjoying expanding my digital painting skills. I’m not sure if it will hold my interest for long but right now I’m finding it to be lots of fun.

Where can you see me or my work in 2018?Even though the year is almost over, I still have some great shows to look forward to. In August I’ll be at the Art in LA Affair at AC Gallery in Hollywood, CA. Opening in September, I’m in the “Jazz it up!” exhibition at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum in Mesa, AZ. I’m finishing out the year at Tieken Gallery LA in a two-person show with Bibi Davidson in Chinatown, Los Angeles. Or anytime at the Tar Pit Lounge on Chung King Road in Los Angeles or at my studio in Paradise Valley, AZ.

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? Everything!

Which creative heroes should Peter invite to tell their story?Emmeric Konrad, Sabine Meyer zuReckendorf, David Allen Paul.

How can you contact me? On Facebook at Fred Tieken and Artist Fred Tieken. On my Website at Instagram @fredtieken

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