Frank Selby, ‘The Wall’, 2013, Lora Reynolds Gallery

About Frank Selby

Fascinated by misinterpretation, Frank Selby produces photographically based, meticulously rendered drawings of scenes of social unrest, which he sees as the ultimate consequence of our failure to communicate effectively. As he explains: “The images of riots, wars, uprisings and clashes found in my work are approached as instances of groups of people for whom a failure of language has created a crisis.” Though he began by painting layered compositions inspired by German Expressionism, a pressing interest in linguistics and the pitfalls of language drew him to focus on the drawings for which he is known. His monochromatic compositions, which can take months to complete, are based on film stills and news photographs of historical and contemporary protests, riots, and natural disasters. By manipulating these source images through cutting, doubling, and blurring, Selby emphasizes the chaos and confusion of misunderstanding.

American, b. 1975, Palm Springs, California, based in Salisbury, North Carolina