By Joe Mahoney Staff Writer
The Daily Star
---- — ROXBURY — Greg Frederick is an artist who has likely broken more records than anyone reading this story today.
By records, we mean that relic of the musical recording industry — vinyl long-playing albums (the ones with the small hole in the center) and 45 revs per minute single records (the ones with the considerably larger hole in the center).
They both spun on turntables, and now Frederick breaks them into pieces whenever he finds them and turns them into art, giving the vinyl components a second lease on life.
Appropriately, the subjects of his vinyl art are people associated with the musical recording industry — individual artists and bands well known in popular culture, running the spectrum from Elvis Presley to the Notorious B.I.G.
Frederick's eclectic work will be on display from May 24 to June 30 at the Orphic Gallery, on Main Street in Roxbury. An artist's reception will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday at the gallery, at the site of the former Roxbury Corner Store.
Frederick, 30, studied photography in London for five years before his interest in the graphic arts branched out into putting his photographs on canvas and stenciling them and putting glitter on them. Soon, he was experimenting with shards of vinyl, affixing the pieces to the surface with epoxy.
"Andy Warhol was a bit of an inspiration for me," Frederick said. "He had worked with so many different musicians."
Phil Lenihan, proprietor of the Orphic Gallery, said the vinyl portraits created by Frederick amount to a type of "low relief sculpture," given the three-dimensional quality of the art..
Standing in front of a rendering of famous British rocker David Bowie Tuesday, Lenihan pointed out the image becomes more recognizable when one backs away from the work to a distance of about 15 feet. The same was true of a Frederick portrait of Hamden bluesman Zonder Kennedy, one that had been commissioned by the musician's wife, Lata. Both will be among the numerous exhibits on display at the gallery.
"Greg Frederick's work is a perfect fusion of art and music," said Lenihan, whose gallery is heavily focused on those same two outlets of creative imagination.
The gallery will mark its first anniversary on Labor Day weekend, and Lenihan has ambitious plans to add diverse offerings, such as a gift shop, a book store and further additions to a news stand already stocked with dozens of periodicals and daily newspapers.
In addition to bringing in artists from outside the immeiate area - Frederick is native of Arizona, now living in Brooklyn — Lenihan has sponsored exhibits featuring the work of local school children.
"Things are really moving forward here, and I'm broadening my horizons," he said. "We have a wealth of local talent right here."
For the Greg Frederick show - titled "Record Breaker" - the gallery will have on hand numerous portraits of important musical legends, including: Levon Helm, John Sebastian, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Kate Pierson, Gail Ann Dorsey, Tony Levin and Graham Parker.