Doug Frati was born in Maine in 1954. His youth was spent growing up in a small rural town located on the banks of the Sebasticook River.
“My grandmother had an old farm there, built by her grandfather, she lived alone and worked in the woolen mills. Her barn was full of cows, chickens, sheep, rodents and spiders. Wood was always the common denominator, we cooked on it, heated with it, built with it, fenced with it, hunted in it and tapped it for maple syrup in the spring.”
Frati attended art school, graduating with a degree in printmaking. His work was soon collected privately as well as publicly when the Portland Museum of Art included it in their permanent collection.
“I returned to my grandmother’s farm, which was vacant for years, in a sad state of collapse and rebuilt. I took it apart and put it all back together bonding with my family’s past in the process.”
Frati’s current wood carving is a direct reflection of where and how he lives. Many of his carvings are made of old wood salvaged from antique objects, broken and lost to barns and attics. A neighbor runs a small saw mill where large white pine is turned to boards for carving. He creates his own stains to bring out the graphic and textural aspect of the carvings.
History becomes an element for creating a new work of art. Layered time adds weight and depth, driving iconic imagery. The work brings to, and brings out, something in the viewer that is real and solid. Something old yet fresh.
Doug, a farmer as well as an artist, grows garlic on his family homestead for market and for his own home use. He has converted the old barn that once held animals and hay into a studio. The old building echoes its past and imparts some of its soul into each piece.
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