Happy Monday, folks! It’s officially April, which means we are less than three weeks away from Block x Blog! Can you believe it? Listen, we know it’s April Fools’ Day. But we’re not here to mess with you. Today, we want to give you some more insight on what you can expect on April 20th by introducing you to one of our own: Kristin Frenzel.
If you’ve attended past Subculture events and scooped out the art there, you’re likely to be familiar with her work. Remember Great Scott, the Doc Brown, painting at Sincerely Yours Marty McFly? How about “Steve Zissou” at By Way of Wes Anderson? Both were featured piece done by Kristin.
Though she was born and raised in Pompano Beach, Fla., Kristin moved to the Fort Lauderdale area around four years ago. She remembers always having been drawn to art, even at an early age. When she was younger, she found herself doodling and painting on practically everything that crossed her path.
“My tests in grade school would be covered in dragons, wizards and dinosaurs,” she recalls. “My teachers would scold me for doodling so much rather than filling in the answers. Later on, I found out most of them kept those tests and still have them to this day.”
Growing up, Kristin was fortunate enough to have parents who not only supported what she wanted to do in life but also encouraged it. Though she tried her hand at what others would call “traditional” job, she quickly realized they weren’t her calling and eventually decided to pursue art full-time.
“I was always going to be an artist, one way or another,” she says.
One year for Christmas, her mother bought her a circuit machine under the notion that Kristin could use it on future projects. Along with her boyfriend Jonathan, she began exploring the possibilities of what they could concoct with it.
“Sadly, the machine wouldn’t do anything we wanted,” Kristen remembers. “We couldn’t hack it, and the cartridges were terribly expensive. So, we looked into more substantial die-cutting machines. We were trying to figure out what we could do with it to justify the purchase of the equipment.”
Around that same time, Kristin had become interested in glassware and drinkingware. It from that curiosity that their company, Illuminated Lion, was born. “It started with us wanting to just etch dinosaurs and alchemical symbols on glasses for ourselves and our friends, and it evolved into a business,” she says.
In her artwork, Kristen primarily uses acrylics, thought she will sometimes also utilize watercolors. She also has some experience with graphic art and digital painting and hopes to one day expand her repertoire to include other mediums.
“I am desperately trying to get decent with graphite and colored pencils. Much work is needed on that front,” she says. “One day, I hope to graduate to oils as well.”
As Subculture’s resident Art Lead, Kristen has worked and collaborated with other artists at our events to enhance the atmosphere and expose the community to unique creations using canvas and acrylics. While it is true that her works at these gatherings fit the theme, it’s no coincidence that they have all been pop culture-oriented in nature. Kristin considers herself a pop culture artist and as such, she finds that this title gives her the freedom to paint that which she appreciates.
“When I got back into painting, the very first piece I did was entitled Kapow. It was a mash-up of Adam West as Batman holding a Bob-omb. I did that and two other pieces for a show up in Orlando. I didn’t do them for any other reason than I really wanted to paint them,” she remembers.
“I loved the responses and the excitement the pieces generated. I loved that I loved what I painted. When I think of what I want to paint, for me, it is all these people and memories from when I was younger, from when I would watch cartoon shows, play with my toys and watch ridiculous movies. I really love capturing that nostalgic feeling on canvas.”
Through her past experiences, Kristin has found that Subculture happenings not only allow here to paint the things she wants but also challenge her. “It pushes me to really think about how I want to approach the event and how I want to represent myself artistically for the event goers,” she says.
For Block x Blog, Kristin is one of our curators. Along with Gina Bentivegna, who is curating the Vinyl Art Show section of the event, she has brought together a group of individuals that will certainly bring the world of 8-bit to life through their art. “We have spent months finding artists and really working towards making the visual art side of this event amazing,” she says. “The caliber of talent we have recruited is stupendous! I could gush for days.”
In addition her role as a curator, Kristen will also be in charge if the Cash and Carry gallery, which will showcase pieces by some of the event’s artists. All art there will be less than $50 and will be available for immediate purchase. In essence, people can literally buy the art and take it right off the wall. Aside from actual paintings, there will also be a variety of other merchandise like Illuminated Lion glassware, vinyl toys and mystery grab bags on sale under the same principle. Kristin will also be painting live on site in this area.
Now that you know a little about her and what she’s doing at Block x Blog, are you curious as to what Kristen herself is excited to see?
“I love seeing what Jordan from The Fine Print Shoppe comes up with for events, so I am looking forward to that,” she says. “I am BEYOND excited to see what 8bitLexicon has planned. I have heard he is going to transform a stage into something unbelievable. Also, SUEDE DUDES!”
To learn more about Subculture’s Block x Blog Music and Arts Festival, check out our home page. Tickets are on sale to the public here.