Dick Frizzell


Dick Frizzell

Dick Frizzell (born Richard Frizzell, 1943) is a New Zealand artist based in Hawke's Bay.

Frizzell's work is best described as expressionist pop (Warwick Brown) in its appropriation of kitsch kiwiana icons and incorporation of them into his often cartoon-like paintings and lithographs. He does not stay within one particular style, and often adopts unfashionable painting styles. Thus, he can be compared to artists such as Roy Lichtenstein, Paul Hartigan, Ian Scott, and Andy Warhol. Frizzell's best-known work uses as its base the "Four Square man", an advertising character for the Four Square grocery chain.

Frizzell is also responsible for the lithograph 'Mickey to Tiki'. This has now become a best selling print in New Zealand. It portrays a cartoon 'Mickey Mouse' changing in stages to a 'Tiki.' This image is used on a popular tee-shirt, released by the Christchurch Art Gallery. His young grandchildren are his main inspiration for his work, Jimi, Sonny and Coco Frizzell, and Georgia and Max.

Frizzell trained at the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts from 1960 to 1963, studying under artists such as Rudi Gopas and Russell Clark. After this he worked in advertising for many years, and it is through this that he gained his appreciation for the advertising characters he uses in his work.

The major retrospective Dick Frizzell: Portrait of a Serious Artiste of 1997 attracted some controversy, somewhat due to the inclusion of Grocer with Moko (1992). This contentious work depicted the Four Square man with facial moko, which offended some viewers.

He had a dog called Modee for just over 14 years. She was a poodle fox terrier cross.

Frizzell has contributed designs to Esther Diamond linen company, has released several varieties of "Frizzell Wines," and designed the cover and several illustrations for The Great New Zealand Songbook (2009).

Frizzell wrote Dick Frizzell: The Painter (Random House NZ, 2009), with a foreword by art writer Hamish Keith.

Frizzell is a brother of politician Steve Chadwick.

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