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Imitating Life: Posing questions to local artist Rick Frausto

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Photo by Blake Gardner Rick Frausto

Photo by Blake Gardner
Rick Frausto

Cory Bilicko
Managing Editor

You could say that Long Beach resident Rick Frausto is one of the rare and lucky members of the creative community— he makes art full-time.
“Being a full-time artist is like being in school,” he says. “It requires you to constantly learn new things. It challenges you to grow, change and heal. I learned a lot of great things in school that helped me develop my own unique style, but I am, for all intents and purposes, self-taught.”
The 41-year-old Santa Ana native specializes in building sculpture with found objects.
“Also, I sculpt with clay, wire, cloth, wax, paper, wood [and]string and use electricity as a medium too,” Frausto says. “I love to draw, paint and create music as well. Animation is next on my list!”
Frausto says he’s been making art his whole life. “My earliest memory of when I began to create art is when I was 2 or 3 years old,” he says, “and I got into my dad’s model paints and covered myself with them.”

Frausto and another local artist, Patricio Wolovich, will present their Illumination Lamp Showcase on Saturday, Oct. 18 from 7pm to 10pm at Encirco Studios, 2321 E. 28th St. Suite #408 in Signal Hill.

“Sleeping Robot,

“Sleeping Robot,” found-object sculpture

How would you describe the type of art you make?
My art is hard to describe, in respect to the fact that, it is more of an experience one has while viewing it. It seems that everybody tends to describe it differently, which makes it non-absolute. My main goal with my art is to inspire others.

Where do you usually find the objects you use in your art?

Everywhere all the time. It just happens when it happens. I never know where or when I’m going to find inspiration.

On your website, you indicate that you recycle “found objects to create whimsical works of art that are timeless, intuitive and captivating.” What do you mean when you say the pieces are “intuitive” ?
When I use the word “intuitive,” it refers to my connection with the creative potential of the universe. I view myself as an artistic conduit that channels creative data from the ethereal realm, which gives me the insight I need to develop an artistic solution to a human problem, which is mass consumerism and wastefulness.

Tell me about when you do commissions for people using personal objects from their past. Are there any unique challenges or rewards for you in that process?
Challenges are the rewards in the end, especially when creating something specifically for someone who wants a sculpture from personal items that are meaningful to them.

“The Dreamer,

“The Dreamer,” found-object

I noticed that the photography of your work plays an important role. For example, there are subtle differences in the backgrounds, depending on the content, and the one called “Desert Spirit” is lit in such a way that it casts long shadows as if it is indeed in a desert. Do you photograph your pieces yourself?
Yes, photography is another passion of mine. A good “shot” is a complete vision as far as my work is concerned.

What can people expect from the Illumination Lamp Showcase?
This is a great opportunity to view and purchase unique hand-made lamps. All of the lamps are custom-made, one-of-a-kind and sustainable, in the sense that they are made from reclaimed materials. The key word here is quality! Vintage-style light bulbs, cloth-covered cords and dimmable switches are just some of the many details that make these lamps functional works of art, really. This will be a well presented showcase, like that of a gallery show but with more ambiance, of course. Space is limited, so it is important to RSVP.

How do you and Patricio know each other, and for how long?
We met last spring at an event that he and his studio mate, Todd Hauge, hosted at their animation studio, Encirco Studios, where the Lamp Showcase is happening.

How did you come to start creating these lamps?

Lighting has been a key component of my artwork over the years. Fascination with the use of light to evoke specific emotions and create distinct atmospheres hasn’t stopped with my artwork. I’ve been designing lighting for my home/studio space for years. Turns out my good friend, Patricio Wolovich, loves making lamps too. At the urging of friends, family and collectors, we decided to put together a collaborative showcase of our lighting projects.

“Desert Spirit,

“Desert Spirit,” found-object

To RSVP for the showcase, call (562) 249-8042, ext. 2015. To view more of Frausto’s work, visit .

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Imitating Life: Posing questions to local artist Rick Frausto