Your work is consistent and very distinctive. How did you find this niche within the art world?
On Broward Boulevard, there used to be an arts and crafts store. I don't know if it's still around; this was in the '80s. I was doing the same artwork but flat. I went into this arts and crafts store, and there was this large table set up, and it said "Class in Paper Toiling Today," and you had all of these little old ladies, and they were cutting with scissors, and they were taking wrapping paper of Raggedy Ann and Andy, Mickey Mouse. They were stacking them in 3-D with glue, and they were layering each one. I said, "This is so interesting, this 3-D thing."
So I took the class for $10, bought one of their little kits, and I made it. I took one of my paintings and I took it to a local printer -- color copies. I cut them out. I made them 3-D and had an outdoor art show in New York... I had sold all 20 of them. You think back that you'd be doing this 30 years later and what it did for my career because I was the first one to do something different.
How do you make the 3-D posters?
First it starts as an original painting, and from the original painting, we make handmade prints. I have a staff of artists that work with me in my studio in New York. We cut them out with an Exacto knife, layer them with gobs of silicone glue and hot glue, and then build it up into layers.
The big ones I do -- they're one-of-a-kind, and they're also done the same way, but they have a different sculptural look. Some are on canvas, some are on paper, and then part of the museum exhibit are vision-o-graphs.
[Note: It's difficult to see it online, but Fazzino's original posters tend to be about an inch thick with layers creating a 3-D effect. Unfortunately, all the glitter doesn't translate well on the internet either.]
|Fazzino's "Shane McDonald"|
These are actually plexiglass boxes; each one is lit up with either special lighting or other embellishments like fiberoptics. If you notice, all of the eyes are gone, and so you look through the eyes, and inside are layers of plexiglass, and on each layer tells a story of the person who lived in that decade in Florida.
Each one is a portrait that you can look through their eyes to their soul... This one [Shane McDonald] is really cool. This one has a disco ball inside moving with strobe lights hitting it, so when you look into it, you see a hot party going on, and it shows you layers of plexiglass inside and all the research I did on the club scene here in the '80s, which I knew some about because I used to come down here in the '80s. Fort Lauderdale has been about partying. 1980s was a big time.
How did you choose characters for this exhibit?
Each one is made up. They're based on historical events that happened in one of those decades, but they're made-up stories for each person.
Where does your work fall in the spectrum between commercial art and fine art?
I think for anybody who does anything commercial like I do, there's always a fine line that you're walking. But I think I've managed to do it well. I try to keep everything that I do -- the three-dimensional ones -- limited edition and make them really beautiful-looking and handmade. I don't use anything that is stamped or commercially done.
How is Fort Lauderdale different from other places you've been commissioned to depict in your work?
Fort Lauderdale was perfect that I was commissioned to do it because I used to come down here. I went to the School of Visual Arts in New York, and I drove down here [right after college] in my van, filled with my artwork, and I used to display my work at the Las Olas Art Show, the Coconut Grove art show in the early 1980s. So it's kind of nice that I've spent all this time here... I actually watched them building the [museum]. I remember saying to myself, "God I wish I'd have a show there someday." That's what's so nice about it -- 25 years came full circle.
|Fazzino's Official Fort Lauderdale Centennial Poster.|