Doug Frohman - Inspiration Arts, LLC - Paintings and Art
Doug Frohman - Inspiration Arts, LLC

Doug Frohman - Inspiration Arts, LLC

Chicago, IL

"Inspiring Others by Being Inspired"
Career Narrative - Doug Frohman
I have not had a traditional art career, if there even is such a thing. A tragic, life-changing event cut short my academic time at art school in college. I later benefitted from inspired guidance by several mentors over the years and am otherwise self-taught. After finishing college, I considered myself an artist and was actively painting from the late 70s through the early 90’s, guided by several factors.

 01) My dual-track career (Online marketing) afforded me total freedom in creating the art I wanted to make, regardless of commercial, financial considerations.

02) I meant to avoid painting in any given style, insisting that each piece be something new, resulting from something learned from previous pieces & my studies.

03) Later on, even though I was successful in the world of business, I really had no idea of how to build or develop a career in art or have my work become more well known.
After college in 1977, I moved to Southern New Mexico and helped the artist, Jerry Wellman and some friends build a solar-powered, adobe house. In 1980, I moved to New York City, living downtown in SoHo where I became much more acquainted with other artists and the art world.

In 1985, I moved to Los Angeles, where I continued painting and had several exhibits - Director’s Guild, Los Angeles; Max Factor, Los Angeles, and met more artists, including two important mentors. In 1995, I moved to Chicago, where I immediately opened two adjoining studios and executed 2 very large-scale commissions.

The first was for Weiss Hospital, Chicago (60”x 120”) and the second, (96”x 48”) for the law-firm, Kirkland and Ellis. During the next few years, I was a partner in a successful Internet start-up, “Digital Frontiers”. My partner, a tech-whiz was also my music partner. We produced a CD of original atmospheric world jazz music, called “Tales of a Prior World” by Prior World. It reached #13 on the national radio charts for New Age music.

During this period, my commitment to my art work & studio practice advanced greatly. I began working in series, with my first set of pieces, “Digital Circuits” (1995) drawn from the visual themes I was seeing everyday on the Internet. Working every night, some days & most weekends, I began my most sophisticated series of thematic works yet, “On the Borders of Language” (1996-2004).

These large scale canvases and multiple works on paper were layered, atmospheric pieces characterized by abstract words and symbols that stood in for the ideas and references to language - its structure and development over time.

In 2005, my work shifted to focus almost exclusively on the square. I switched from creating huge canvas and paper pieces to working on small and mid-size wood panels.

Beginning with individual 12”x 12” panels, I soon was creating sets of 4 panels in horizontal & vertical sequences, each panel having 1/4” separation between them, whose sequences suggested film frames. In these pieces, I moved into more boldly colored, gestural works; where one 12” square stood on its own compositionally, but in interaction with the other three panels formed an associative narrative, hence the series title, “Abstract Narratives”. 

Chicago turned out to be very fertile ground for me. Two doors down from me, in my studio building was the artist Darrell Roberts. He and I spent many afternoons 
talking and looking at each other’s work and I began to get the feel for the "hidden rhythms” of the professional art world. Soon after, my work “Paris Match" (after the French magazine) was awarded prestigious inclusion by Linda Warren of Linda Warren Projects, Chicago in her extensive curatorial commission for the international headquarters of Eaton Corporation in Brentwood, OH, outside Cleveland. 

In 2015, I joined Matthew Rachman Gallery, Chicago, IL. Rachman Gallery had some of Chicago’s best emerging & mid-career artists, as well as a robust architectural furniture practice that made for uniquely original exhibits that garnered lots of attention.

I began to engage with some of the city’s top design & art advisory firms, winning public commissions at Chicago’s iconic Prudential Building (Lobby, 2013-14), Hyatt Regency Hotel’s Chicago flagship (Lobby, 2014), Trump International Hotel & Towers (Lobby, 2014-15), Gateway Plaza (Lobby, 2016), Gerding Edlen, Inc. 200 West Adams St. (Lobby, 2017), River North Design District Event - “Vignette”, a collaboration with Designer, Nora Schneider, ASID featuring three of my works including, “Black Satin” (2017).
In 2016, I joined Ai Bo Gallery, Purchase, NY, exhibiting with the gallery at numerous art fairs, including CONTEXT New York, SOFA Chicago and Art Basel Miami (CONTEXT), among others. 

In 2018, I curated a huge exhibition, “Vitality Rising - a Five-Artist Dialogue” at Chicago’s distinguished Zhou Brothers Art Center. Each of the five artists was able to really stretch out and exhibit numerous individual pieces in the over 2,000 square foot exhibition space. There was wide attendance and a number of people commented to myself and others that the groups of works really succeeded in achieving a resonance and rapport with one another. 

In 2018-19, I joined with Ford Crull, a great friend and terrific NY-based artist, to become co-managing partners in "Art Selective”, Chicago & New York. Art Selective is an Artist-run art advisory providing interior designers, residential & corporate art consultants, private curators & individual collectors with access to a select group of topIn 2016, I joined Ai Bo Gallery, Purchase, NY, exhibiting with the gallery at numerous art fairs, including CONTEXT New York, SOFA Chicago and Art Basel Miami (CONTEXT), among others. 

In 2018, I curated a huge exhibition, “Vitality Rising - a Five-Artist Dialogue” at Chicago’s distinguished Zhou Brothers Art Center. Each of the five artists was able to really stretch out and exhibit numerous individual pieces in the over 2,000 square foot exhibition space. There was wide attendance and a number of people commented to myself and others that the groups of works really succeeded in achieving a resonance and rapport with one another. 

In 2018-19, I joined with Ford Crull, a great friend and terrific NY-based artist, to become co-managing partners in "Art Selective”, Chicago & New York. Art Selective is an Artist-run art advisory providing interior designers, residential & corporate art consultants, private curators & individual collectors with access to a select group of top professional artists working across all styles and mediums. We streamline the process of matching artists with buyers in creating custom designed environments.

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