When Apple released the first iPod in 2001, the reign of the digital download began. The same way the MP3 is causing the slow death of the compact disc, a decade earlier the CD virtually killed the vinyl record. But like Lazarus, vinyl is experiencing a resurrection. The rebirth of the record is not only taking place in mom-&-pop music stores, but also on the walls of New York galleries thanks to the innovative vision of contemporary artist Greg Frederick.
Frederick, a photographer by trade, decided to expand from capturing images with a camera to creating original pieces of art from recycled broken records and their packaging. Frederick’s “Vinyl Pop Art” series is an homage to pop art’s most instrumental forerunner, Andy Warhol, and legendary street artists like Banksy and Shepard Fairey. In essence, Frederick’s work is a visual mash-up of these artists’ impressionable styles with his own imaginative take on iconic images and individuals of pop culture lore. And of course, his first vinyl work was a portrait of the eccentric leader of The Factory studio of the 1960’s and creator of the idea that everyone will inherently be at the center of popular culture for at least 15 minutes.
“I chose [Warhol] because he inspired me to go into art,” stated the Brooklyn-based art whiz. Using Warhol as the initial stimulus, Fredrick eventually “moved in the direction of making art for walls and developing into [his] own style with vinyls.”
Surprisingly, Fredrick is a relative novice at the craft of shaping elaborate illustrations from old records. He began working with vinyl as a medium about 18 months ago, but he has already garnered attention from media personality/art curator Souleo and popular design publications. “It all kicked off in January when I was a featured artist on fab.com. From that, it’s spiraled all over the place,” Frederick shared with DZI: The Voice.