The Art of Twisting and Turning Reality as We Know It


ART TALK | TUE APR 12, 2011 | Host: Edward Goldman

Strolling through the sprawling, meticulously maintained gardens of the Huntington Library always puts me in a very special mood. It makes me feel as if I am walking through the elaborate set design during a grand performance of a Shakespeare play: King Lear, Twelfth Night, or maybe The Merchant of Venice? (Listen/Read here.)

Artist reveals hidden world at the Huntington

March 13, 2011 | Art | San Marino | By Lauren M. Whaley

John Frame’s characters are not meant to live under glass.

The Southern California artist has created a world from wooden and found objects that seem to whisper to audience members as they step into the darkened gallery. His show “Three Fragments of a Lost Tale: Sculpture and Story by John Frame,” opened Saturday at the Huntington Museum, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

The Boone gallery displays more than 30 characters and dozens of other pieces of found and carved objects. Most characters have moveable hands, jaws, feet and eyes. They range in height from three inches to almost three feet. Individual figures seem alive under glass on pedestals and posed in a group on a theater stage. Frame also captures their movement in photographs and in a stop-motion animated film with an original music score. (continues at

“The Story: Stop Motion”

American Public Media produces a program called, “The Story,” that airs on Public Broadcasting Stations nationwide. On Friday October 12, 2012, it carried an interview with me about, “Three Fragments of a Lost Tale.”  It comes in the last 12 minutes of the broadcast entitled, “The Day I Fell From the Sky.”  It’s an interesting show and we were really happy to get the coverage. You can listen here.


Filmmaker John Frame plans each shot with incredible precision and then takes it. Then he plans his next shot. He tells producer Phoebe Judge what inspired him to begin his stop-motion project…..

OPB Think Out Loud | John Frame



AIR DATE: Monday, April 16th 2012 | By: Dave Miller

John Frame has undergone some major artistic shifts. He initially wanted to be a writer, but decided he couldn’t cut it in literature. So, he turned to visual art. After two years digging into art history and critical theory, he dived into sculpture. For decades, that was his medium, but after experiencing a long artistic block between 2000 and 2005, he threw in the towel.

O-Man Straight OnJohn Frame — The Unanswered Question
Not long after that, he had an artistic reawakening when he began an animation project. Once again, he delved into researching a new medium, and began to experiment with filmmaking and stop-motion techniques.

His exhibit at the Portland Art Museum showcases the current stage of that project. The show is a collection of photos, sculptures, and videos featuring fantastical characters that come alive in the animations.

Have you been to John Frame’s exhibit at the Portland Art Museum? What was your experience with the work? What questions do you have for the artist?

(Original Interview is here)

Kink FM Interview


Our guest is California based sculptor John Frame who for the last five years has been working on his ambitious project, The Tale of the Crippled Boy. The end goal? A feature length collection of animated and live film vignettes.

Now on exhibit at the Portland Art Museum through May, Three fragments of a Lost Tale, presents the work on this project. It includes installations, stage sets, stills, music score and film. The self-taught Frame’s work isn’t conceptual, expressionist or crafts person per se, but rather a mix of all three led by the use of intuition.  ( original interview is here )

Out Of Order Magazine

John Frame’s Three Fragments of a Lost Tale | Taylor Dent

Imagine a post-apocalyptic landscape as envisioned 16th century villagers: darkness envelops a once refined civilization as the townspeople lapse into superstition. Illiteracy rises as Shakespeare’s dramas disintegrate inside a mad scientist’s library. A troupe of actors, the Tottentanzers, performs a morality play where God and Satan depict themselves on an archaic stage set. A skeleton-like torch wielder frightens off rusted citizens from breaking into the tempting Gate of Desire. (Read the Review Here)

KBOO Interview PAM Exhibition

John Frame and Barry Bostwick

The Film Show | program date: Thu, 03/22/2012 (Listen to the Interview here)

The animation and sculpture of John Frame is currently on display at the Portland Art Museum as part of the featured exhibitionThree Fragments of a Lost Tale. S.W. Conser talks with John about the process of transforming his own waking dreamscapes into the animated work-in-progress The Tale of the Crippled Boy. Back in the studio, Faux Film Festival curator Mike Shkolnik is joined by actor Barry Bostwick, who is starring in all three feature films at next weekend’s festival. And Jenn Chavez brings us the monthly film events calendar.

Oregon Public Broadcasting Video: Sculptor John Frame


Arts and Life: Multimedia Artist John Frame

By Ifanyi Bell | April 20, 2012 | Original article here

John Frame visits OPB and discusses his latest exhibition at the Portland Art Museum.

John Frame is first and foremost a sculptor. But like many artists, inspiration can come from a variety of sources. In Frame’s case, it was a very lucid vision which brought him the idea for his latest collection of work, “Three Fragments of a Lost Tale.”

“At the end of a nearly five-year blocked period, I had a particularly large download of information that came in the form of… not a dream, but a kind of ‘waking’ dream,” says Frame. One of the works that resulted from this vision is The Tale of the Crippled Boy, a 12-and-a-half minute piece of animation made up of short vignettes. Frame says that this animation has set the stage for something that is ongoing.


John Frame: Three Fragments of a Lost Tale

  • Through May 27, 2012
  • Portland Art Museum, 1219 SW Park Avenue, Portland
  • Visit website

“It is our goal to build a feature length set of these vignettes over the coming months,” says Frame on his website.

Frame’s new exhibition at the Portland Art Museum brings together his sculpture, animation and filmmaking into a multimedia experience that has proven to be quite popular. In fact, this month marks Frame’s second visit to Portland in as many months in order to reach more fans.

“The museum added this [trip] because the talks over there sold out right away, so they wanted me to come back up and meet the audience a couple more times.”

To learn more about John Frame, listen to the Think Out Loud interview.

Portland Art Museum II

Here are a few shots of the installation at the Portland Art Museum.  The exhibition runs to May 27.  We have been really pleased with reaction to the work in Portland and everyone at the museum has been superb to work with.  Hope to see you there!

john frame: the devil is in the details

I became still the moment I saw John Frame’s sculpture and video so that I could absorb the details, listen to the music, watch this master at work.  Articulate and accomplished, the California artist’s skills and talents are numerous and noteworthy. Frame carves figures from small pieces of wood, adding found objects, sewing fabric bits for the clothing and sets a stage for the characters to come alive – almost every one of the latest collection of figures is partially or fully articulated. The level of detail in his work is a testament to what can be accomplished through dedication and drive.

(Visit Daily Art Muse)

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