"Operating on the edge between street and highbrow art, Faticas world is dark and devoid of highbrow puffery, instead depicting a surreal, nihilistic future inspired more by David Lynchs Eraserhead than the bright futurism explored at the 1939 Worlds Fair". -Orlando Weekly
His paintings have been called, a sublime blend of Tim Burton and Botticelli by the Baltimore Examiner. Patrick Fatica attended Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, FL from 1990 to 1994. He moved to Orlando, Florida in 1995 and spent the first few years developing a production company with a few friends called Eat Cake Productions. He went on to direct several original plays and the 16mm film Five Miles from Heaven, which appeared in film festivals around the country. After completing the film, he and his two business partners designed, opened and ran 2 music venues on the east side of Orlando and downtown Orlando called Back Booth. After almost a decade of traveling down different artistic paths, Patrick picked up the paintbrush again and dedicated himself to his painting.
Phoenix Sun Times said about his solo Wind-Up Gallery exhibition, We cant think of anything more delightful than indulging in meticulously rendered prurient fantasies. This stuff is so sweet its almost rotten.
THE ARTIST STATEMENT
My paintings usually start with a color idea, along with an emotive concept. They then evolve into compositions in which color and light are the primary subject. The subject matter usually revolves around pop surreal portraits mostly of women. I try to create a feeling in the color choices and their expressions rather than illustrate it through symbols or content. Over the last two years my color palette has changed from the very vibrant spectrum to a more subdued and subtle representation. The idea is for the viewer to read the title, such as: "Back in the Woods, Under Ashes, There is a Stone" or "Bright and Bubbly Terrible Thing that was Doing Her Thing" and relate it to the painting in order to create a visceral narrative and back story of the subject. All of my paintings are done on hardboard with thin oil glazes separated by layers of Crystal Clear. Upon approach the viewer can see the many underlying layers, which can be seen as technical symbolism.
Taken from Big Up Magazine
How did you grow up and what were your first steps to becoming an artist?
I was born in Erie PA and move to south Florida when I was a kid. I grew up in a golf community filled with old people and their parents, Needless to say, there were hardly any kids around. So I spent most of my time drawing. Since I was a little kid I always drew faces. They were cartoons of course and they always had big eyes. When I was around 14 I discovered Patrick Nagel. He was the artist from the 80s that did the cover of that Duran Duran album Rio. I loved to copy his drawings. I guess somewhere deep down that stuck with me, and now the subject matter just seems natural. That continued through middle school and high school. I was known as, the artist. Whenever the school needed a poster, or a playbill I was the one that got asked to do it. In fact my senior year of high school consisted of English, Economics, and 4 art classes, so it only seemed natural to continue my education in art. I went to Ringling School of Art and Design from 1990-94. But, I seriously started painting only a few years ago. In 2006 I had my first solo show at The Peacock Room in Orlando, FL. I think I had about 17 paintings done for that show. I was still experimenting with materials and paint. Trying to figure out how I was going to work with oils, and what subjects I was going to tackle. I was still developing a solid idea of which direction I wanted my style to go. For that first year, I pretty much tried not to pay attention to any other artists. Ive never been one that collected art, or went to art shows, or spent any time in an art scene so I didnt really know what was out there. I just painted what I thought would be fun, and what felt right. Later, as I began to do the business of finding galleries to show in I came across some great artists that still inspire me to do better. I love the technical skill of Sas Christian, and the atmosphere of emotion created by Lori Early.
What is your process?
My paintings usually start with a color idea, along with an emotive concept. I start with a drawing on a white panel. I build up oil glazes that are very thin. After each glaze the painting gets sprayed with a layer of clear acrylic. Ill apply around 40 glazes until the painting is complete. I build all of my own frames, and paint them in a similar technique. Almost always, at around layer 25, I feel like I ruined the whole painting; that I messed it up. Then around layer 30 it magically comes together almost finished. I dont really know how that happens.
What inspires you?
Im inspired by the littlest of things. Ill notice lighting in a movie, or a haircut in a magazine. Im always looking for color combinations. The main influence for the next painting is the painting I'm working on at the moment. I'll mix a color, or see a shadow, and say I want to try that next. Sometimes I have an idea and I just file it away in the back of my brain as if I'm not ready for that idea yet. When its time the idea kind of bubbles back to the top on its own.
How would you describe the mood and feel of your characters-women and your art?
There is definitely a somber tone to many of the pieces. I think that the color choices add a lot to the mood that Im trying to create. Everything really evolves throughout the painting process. When the feeling/mood starts to change I go with it instead of trying to force it back to the original idea. I always start with a finished painting in my head though. It gives me something to shoot for.
Most of your characters look sad. Must be the eyes. Why is that? Who are these women?
I like painting women the most. Theres a sense of fragile confidence, and a range of other emotions right behind their eyes that I love to play with. I try to create a back-story in my head of how these people got to this place. Its like a snap-shot in time. I like to play with the idea of isolation.
What's the story behind the "With This Clattering And Din I Am Calling You, Come On Darkness"? This is a newer piece. I like this concept, and Ive been playing with it for years. While Im painting I ask myself a bunch of questions, trying not to specifically answer any of them. As the story goes in my head, Is it a party, a carnival, a ceremony at dusk? You cant quite see whats going on behind those trees. Is she escaping that place, or protecting it? I try to keep all of the questions in play. Its like trying to keep a bunch of balloons in the air not letting any of them touch the ground. I ask myself different questions with every piece. I feel it lets the viewer create their own visceral narrative.
Does music play any role in your art?
I love a few bands so much that its really hard to explain. My biggest influence is a band called Neutral Milk Hotel; simply the best words ever. They paint these amazing pictures in your head. This is an example from a song called Oh Comely, The music and medicine you needed for comforting. So make all your fat fleshy fingers to moving, And pluck all your silly strings, bend all your notes for me. Soft silly music is meaningful magical, The movements were beautiful, all in your ovaries. All of them milking with green fleshy flowers, While powerful pistons were sugary sweet machines. I use a lot of lyrics in my titles. I also love Camper Van Beethoven and Built to Spill. Its almost like these bands songs are my closest friends.
What would you do if you weren't an artist?
I started out as an artist, in fact my parents actually pushed me into going to art school. When I finished I was totally burnt out. I left it behind and did all kinds of other stuff. I had a production company called Eat Cake Productions and directed a bunch of original plays. I also directed a 16mm film called Five Miles From Heaven that we ran the festival circuit with. I loved doing all of those things. That is probably what I would do. I guess I like telling stories. The great thing about painting though is that there is no compromising your ideas. I guess Im kind of a control freak.
Do you have a favorite piece of your work?
Thats a hard one. Its like, Which one of your children do you love the most? I love them all for different reasons, even the red headed stepchildren. I usually like whichever one Im working on at the time, then I hate it, then I like it again, and then after a while indifferent. I paint each one trying to reach an indescribable feeling inside. Its like taking a drug always trying to capture that perfect high again
or it could just be the paint fumes.