Full Name
Caleb Freese
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531 Carroll Street / 531 Carroll St
Arts Gowanus Annex

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531 Carroll Street / 531 Carroll St
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Arts Gowanus Annex
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Artist Statement
I moved 30 times before turning 25; I’m not from anywhere. I’ve settled in Brooklyn since then but part of my heart belongs outdoors. I love remote places just as much as the city. Nothing has taught me more about myself, fear and feeling alive than spending years guiding rivers and climbing. The more time spent outdoors, the more I realize how little there is left. Wilderness has become considerably less wild; bears are pests, planes fly over constantly, cell reception is ubiquitous, and National Parks have traffic jams. While this is not strange in itself, just depressing, it produces quite a disconnect. The frontier and wilderness are foundations of America’s identity and they’re mostly gone. I believe strongly in the preservation of nature as well as re-imagining our cities. Not to be fooled by it’s beauty, nature is violent, changing and alive. This conflict of people and place drives my art. I like change. I create art that imagines change in a playful combination of sources and media. While the style stays consistent, the topics, subjects and projects I work on vary widely. Space, history, people, architecture and topography are the most consistent themes. My work often contrasts technical structure with energetic and colorful paintings. I explore depth with layers, often working on installations a couple feet thick. My works are both detailed and compelling from afar; I’ve worked on many large format murals (one winning a national AIA award). I work digital but always keep a foot in traditional print media, recently completing a residency at the Lower East Side Printshop. All the drawings and paintings are hand drawn and often silkscreened. I’m a gardener, bike infrastructure advocate, founder of a green roof company which grows hops (for making beer) and I love dogs. I travel everywhere with my mutt, Ophelia. My art is just one area of my life in which I reconcile my desire for wilderness and my love for city life.
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