Frank Holliday’s career took root in the chaotic environment of the East Village in the 1980s. During this time, he found himself creating and showing art alongside contemporaries such as Elizabeth Murray, Keith Haring, and many more. From these beginnings, Holliday helped establish a foundational platform through the seminal alternative art and performance space, Club 57. Although short-lived, Club 57’s wild, experimental presence left a long lasting, formative impact on art, performance, music, and popular culture as they are known today.
Within his sprawling, ever-changing body of work, arguably the single constant in Holliday’s art is the same “anything-goes” spirit that made the legacy of the East Village scene so monumentally influential and enduring. Each of his paintings exhibit an unbridled, fluid spontaneity. Holliday utilizes a wide array of disparate elements, ranging from art history to the human toll of the AIDs epidemic to personal memories, merging them into expressionistic painted forms based on pure emotional drive. Most recently, looking toward Italian Old Masters such as Caravaggio and Bernini, Holliday has been able to synthesize essential aesthetics into entirely new poetic interpretations. In doing so, his work embraces seemingly paradoxical qualities. Thick impasto swirls of paint are rendered in a robust manner, which imparts a fleeting, airy appearance despite their weightiness and colors seamlessly transition from vibrant, rich, and clear to heavy, dark, and muddy. These contradictions merge and solidify into uniquely dynamic and active, yet harmonious compositions.