We had the good fortune of connecting with Frankie Greco and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Frankie, why did you pursue a creative career?
First of all, I love to paint and I’ve always loved to draw, so I do it because I love it. Now, the major factor that plays in this is that being an artist definitely gives me purpose, and energy. Further, I feel that I have an innate burden, responsibility, and gift to create. I’m not even happy when I’m not doing this. So it’s not just a career to me, it’s my calling. It’s my platform. It’s my soapbox, and it’s my voice. Being a creative pursued me, not the other way around.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
For starters I’ll talk about my art, to give perspective about what I do, and how I share to the community. I am an abstract painter, and in my process I listen to music, mostly jazz, blues and hip-hop. While listening, I paint in real time and lay down the composition for my paintings. I do this all while attempting to create a language from the sound. What also informs my work is this social movement that’s happening currently that absolutely cuts to the core of systemic injustice that is affecting people of color. I see a correlation between music and social change, and I feel that music echoes what society is experiencing. Ultimately, my paintings are a diverting take on my identity from music, and I think many people can relate with that. I share my perspective with our community. My work has given me opportunity for outreach to youth in need, and opportunities to talk to high school students. I’ve also been on art discussion panels that talk about this very thing.
What set me (my work) apart from others are my process, and my story. I’m not sure if anyone is doing was I do (exactly), but this flashback morphed cubism thing that I do has made me most proud on where it has taken me. Creativity has given me so much more in return than I could have ever imagined, and with trust and hard work, I can’t wait to see what’s next. Sometimes it’s easy and other times not so, but the idea is to stay course so that other opportunities present themselves. Those little milestones help keep me going. Finances, juggling family life, full time work, and school were and still are the hardest challenges to overcome as an artist, but you just have to deal with these distractions and make it happen. I’m one of those guys that can paint all day, anyhow. That’s when I feel the most productive.
Along the way you hear this all the time, but I have learned to stay true to myself. I try not to listen to all of the negative yip-yap talking chatter because we (as artists) can be our own toughest critics anyhow. I would also advise everyone to support one another, and surround you with like minded people. That always helps and it’s a good lesson along the way.
When it comes to my brand, I try to keep in mind that my brand is not something that’s formed overnight. It is the result of hard work, failure, success, family, background, identity, education, etc. All of this shapes who I am as a brand, and consequently what my style is as an artist. This is how the world views me, and subsequently how they view my paintings. But, it’s not up to me how you view my work. That’s up to you. Either it does something for you or it doesn’t.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Hmm-That’s a great question, and I hope it’s not an indictment on how boring I have become. Monday- Day one, I would take them to the beach, Venice, or Santa Monica and go for a bike ride. Hopefully it will be sunny outside and maybe I’ll show them the experience of the long drive through at In-N-Out on Sunset Blvd ( Double Double Animal Style with chopped chilies). Tuesday- Show them around Los Angeles, Malibu, and Santa Monica, and hit up a landmark pub; Play some pool. Wednesday- We could check out art museums like LACMA or the Broad and the Getty depending on how we ambitious we get. Thursday- The day before on Wednesday we saw the masters, now let’s roll to arts district and see some local (more) contemporary artists in residence and galleries. We can get some Roscoe’s, and catch a ball game. Friday- We could drive down to Pedro and show them the cliffs at Sunken City. On Saturday we could catch Pancho Sanchez at the Hollywood Bowl. – Bring some wine and a picnic basket, and that day we would definitely have to take a walk at Griffith Park. Sunday – Maybe take it easy, and have some Korean BBQ at a host of spots in K-town. Sounds like lots of naps are in order.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First of all, I would like to shoutout my beautiful wife, Brittany. Shoutout my talented son, Brandon. Next, shoutout the amazing artists of Fa4Collective. A special shoutout goes to all the friends and family that have supported me.