ABSTRACTIONS . 2018
Artist Neicy Frey created this body of work during a 6-month stay in Penang, Malaysia in early 2018. The pieces were each created with acrylic paint on paper and were made in Neicy’s dining room overlooking the Straits of Melaka at the North end of Penang Island.
These simple, hard-edge abstractions are quite a deviation from Neicy’s larger-than-life florals which she is best known for. Frey describes the transition:
“Moving into a more abstract style of painting in the last couple of years is a reflection of some big internal shifts I’ve had. Increasingly bombarded by information with the expansion of social media and our ability to communicate, I find myself yearning for simplicity more and more. And I think other people are in the same boat. I feel burdened by all of the information I have access to, and by how accessible I am. I’m nostalgic for quiter times. In response, I have been boiling things down to the basic, most important elements of my life, and this is showing up in my artwork right now.
In carving out the elemental, I was able to more easily connect with a child-like attitude toward my art-making. My criteria for the work became asking myself questions similar to Marie Kondo in The Magical Art of Tidying Up: does this bring me joy? is this fun? do I like this? Being in Penang, where I had spent several years as a teenager, helped me to connect to that younger aspect of my self while bringing forward these paintings.
Taking my studio on the road set perimeters for the size and materials of this collection. It was essential for me to have a mobile studio setup that I could move from place to place, and I needed to easily transport the work back to the States in my suitcase.
Neicy was born in Spokane, Washington, grew up in India and Malaysia, and moved back to the Northwest about 25 years ago. “I love to travel, but the slow vibe of my small hometown Spokane, with its easy access to wide open spaces, allows my creativity to ramble. The simple Northwest lifestyle has afforded me the ability to pursue my career as an artist while raising my children. My traveling experiences in Southeast Asia are a constant influence to the art that I make, as are the natural world, music and the mystic. “