John Frame at DreamWorks


On Tuesday of this week Johnny Coffeen and I had the good fortune to spend several hours on the DreamWorks campus in Burbank.  A few of the folks lucky enough to work there had seen the exhibition at the Huntington and were interested in having me give a talk, which I did in the Campanile Theater at noon.  After a PowerPoint presentation and screening of a portion of the animation I demonstrated how the figures (Mr. R, Argus and Pip had graciously agreed to join us) are constructed and how they move.  The audience was very attentive and asked really great questions.  Among them was one about whether or not the Cast would be interested in doing music videos.  Acting as the Tottentanzers (et al) agent I have learned from experience that they are rather picky about what they will and won’t do, having turned down two earlier invites to do music related videos.  So, rather than thinking on my feet, I more or less said no.  Later that day, I was roundly criticized on all sides.  D’Artand was especially angry and informed me that I was, “A thoughtless and incompetent DOLT!!” after which he lit my hair on fire.  The biggest, and certainly most reasonable complaint was that they are, in fact, VERY interested, as a working repertory company, in performing anything from the “legitimate” theater….their rendition of King Lear being a first choice.  Given a second opportunity I would enthusiastically pimp for the little beggars lest I find myself skewered in the night by tiny, but very sharp, kabob spears.

My thanks to everyone we met at DreamWorks, especially CS and VL-S, for making it a most enjoyable and memorable day.  We absolutely loved the Scotch selection in the Secret Room.

The Seattle Times

Artlandia: A cultural getaway in Portland

By Michael Upchurch | Seattle Times arts writer | Original article is here

 At the Portland Art Museum, the Mark Rothko exhibit includes 45 works of the highly regarded 20th-century painter who spent part of his life in Portland.


At the Portland Art Museum, the Mark Rothko exhibit includes 45 works of the highly regarded 20th-century painter who spent part of his life in Portland. Cultural life is singularly concentrated in Portland. Walk just 20 blocks and you can hit most of the city’s major museums, galleries and performance venues, plus scores of restaurants and cafes.

Sure, there’s arts activity happening elsewhere in the city. But for the out-of-town visitor, especially anyone arriving by train, it’s a great feeling to exit Portland’s Union Station and know so many attractions are in strolling distance.

Portland Art Museum: “Mark Rothko” is the big-name draw here, but “John Frame: Three Fragments of a Lost Tale” is the unexpected knockout. Both exhibits are up through May 27.

The Rothko retrospective reveals that before Mark Rothko was “Mark Rothko,” he was Marcus Rothkowitz, and before he was an abstract expressionist he was a figurative painter. He came to Portland from Russia at age 10 in 1913 and spent about a decade in the city before heading for New York. In 1933, the Portland Art Museum gave him his first one-man museum show, and he had family ties to the city for most of his life (1903-1970).

“Mark Rothko” starts with a rather tame still-life from 1926 and ends with two black/gray abstract canvases from 1969 that all but spell “dead end” (Rothko killed himself the next year). In between, however, there’s an energizing evolution of visual ideas, gradually morphing from fanciful, distorted figures to ever-bolder abstractions. By 1950, he finds his signature style: huge pulsating lozenges of color that seem almost to vibrate off the canvas while pulling you into shadowy realms.

As illuminating as the Rothko exhibit is, the John Frame show is even better. Frame is a California artist who works with puppets, photography and stop-action animation. The show is theatrically spot-lit in the dim gallery. Oddball hybrid creatures made from found materials come to spooky life as a soundtrack scored by Frame plays in the background.

(Original article is here)

The Huffington Post

The Huffington Post

“Fine art is that in which the hand, the head, and the heart go together” – John Ruskin

On the opening day of “Three Fragments of a Lost Tale: Sculpture and Story by John Frame,” on view through June 20th at the Huntington Museum and Gardens, I emerged from the darkly lit Boone Gallery into the bookstore to find a nicely dressed older woman looking at me expectantly. “Are YOU the artist?” she asked.  (Read More Here.)

Artist John Frame Installing Characters from his “Lost Tale” at the Huntington Library Photo: Carey Haskell

PDX Talk

On March 18, 2012,  California sculptor, filmmaker, and photographer John Frame shared thoughts on his work and the fantastical world of Three Fragments of a LostTales before a sold out crowd at the Portland Art Museum. (Click Here to See/Hear the Talk.)

I really enjoyed doing this talk at the Portland Art Museum.  If you want to hear me give a broad overview of the work, this would probably be my first choice.       John

Sketching for Animation


Peter Parr’s excellent new book includes a four page spread of my sketches showing how the Grass Scene in “Three Fragments of a Lost Tale” was put together. Find it on Amazon.  It is an honor to have been included.  Thanks Peter!

The Story of an Artist’s Fevered Dream That Turned Into His Life’s Work

Piece-by-piece, sculptor John Frame is building a fantasy world and a fantastic tale. But not even he knows how it ends. 

MEDIUM:  Ideas and perspectives you won’t find anywhere else.


He had all but given up on making art. In 2004, following two decades busily making art in Los Angeles, John Frame was slogging through what would turn into a brutal 5-year creative dry spell. Known primarily as a sculptor, Frame is in fact a master of many trades — critic David Pagel once wrote, “If John Frame were in the movie business, he would be a costume designer, stylist, set decorator, prop master, lighting specialist, writer, director, editor, producer, agent and publicist all rolled into one.” All that creative potential, and yet a long line of false starts marched straight into the garbage. Read More…

Siggraph 2013 Computer Animation Festival


Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 3.09.55 PMThis year I had the opportunity to serve as a juror for the 2013 Siggraph Animation Festival.  It was a fascinating look at how the selection process for a major animation festival works.  The three day selection juror’s event took place on the Disney Animation campus in Burbank, California and over that period we screened nearly 300 entries from all over the world.  Other Jurors included representatives from LAICA, WETA, Disney and Pixar among others.  Here’s a Link to a Youtube video of some of the work screened.


Film Updates: New DVD Cover Art

It seemed like time to update everyone about our progress with the film.  In addition to having screened during the show at the Huntington Library and now the Portland Art Museum, we have also had some success in the film festivals. As you can see from the redesigned DVD cover, we have made it into several festivals including the upcoming Seattle International Film Festival, the largest event of its kind in the US.  We were thrilled to be included and wanted to update the cover in preparation for the third pressing.  Our sincere thanks to all who have supported the project by Donating to the cause and buying Catalogs and DVDs, and Photos… is quite literally what keeps us going financially for the time being.  Work on Part II of the Tale is proceeding slowly and we are currently looking for an East Cost Venue for the Exhibition.  All is well.  Thanks!  John

PAM Fields Ballroom Talk

I wanted to add this talk given recently at the Portland Art Museum’s Fields Ballroom.  It runs almost fifty minutes, but covers a good bit of information about the “Tale of the Crippled Boy” and the history of the project.  Starts out a bit bumpy, but improves…I hope.

(Listen to the Portland Museum Fields Ballroom Talk here.)


Magnificent Seven From the Year 2011

by Edward Goldman/Huffington Post | I thought it might be a good idea to finish the year by talking about the most memorable, adventurous exhibitions in Los Angeles’ museums and galleries over that last year.

Let’s start with William Eggleston’s retrospective at LACMA. Until seeing this traveling…(Read More.)