ARTIST IN FOCUS: FRED FOWLER

We've been Fred Fowler fanatics (the FFFs) for a long time now - chasing his abstract cartoonish work down Melbourne's laneways. These days he is the toast of the town and we don't need to risk ankle breaking adventures to see his work. Now based in a beautiful airy studio in Footscray and has sold out exhibitions at some of the countries most popular galleries. We caught up with Fred and asked him how he got here.

1. You’re exhibition Under Wild Skies with the TDF Collect just sold out. Congratulations! Can you tell us a little about your exhibition? Under Wild Skies was an exploration of not just the physical landscape but the cultural and psychological landscape of Australia. I wanted to try to subvert the idea of traditional European landscape painting while still making work that is visually seductive. There’s lots of symbolism in the work that I haven’t utilised before such as spirits and ghosts and detention centres.

2. Any hot tips for aspiring young artists / what would modern-day Fred say to 17 year old Fred?

The main tip I would give to young artists would be to look at art like any other profession. I don’t think artists are any more important than say engineers or garbos. And if you want to be a professional artist you have to just work really hard at it. All the successful artists I’ve met have a really strong work ethic and are highly motivated. 
3. We’re just into the beginning of another glorious year, what has been your highlight for 2016 and what are you looking forward to in 2017? One highlight was definitely getting married and going on an incredible road-trip around the south west of the States. We did a big loop starting in Los Angeles, then up the coast and inland to Yosemite; onto the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley. It was literally epic! This year I’m looking forward to finishing the renovations at my studio and also getting out on some more Australian road-trips.
4. If you were not a brilliant artist you would be…
Oyster farmer, Japanese woodwork apprentice, fighter pilot, sniper, homicide detective, fireman, quantum physicist or garbo.