This much I know: Artist Dick Frizzell

By Sarah Daniell

Artist Dick Frizzell. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Artist Dick Frizzell. Photo / Brett Phibbs

When I need solace, an answer or comfort, I go to music, books, paintings and movies.

I'm heading to India. I just hope that I can still put up with the rigours of travel. Hoping to bring back some interesting signage references ... as usual. And fingers crossed that Pondicherry is as fab as I imagine it to be. The insight that I never seem able to gain is the one that stops me over-expecting. I should have listened to my father who said, "don't get your hopes up ... and that way you won't be disappointed". And he wasn't even Jewish.

The thing in life I haven't yet done but would like to is fly into Copenhagen and catch the overnight ferry up to St. Petersburg. Or go to that Museum of Fakes in China. I love the sound of that.

There's nobody I need to apologise to much these days ... since I got too old to get stupendously drunk at dinner parties.

My grandchildren are young adults now! I can't think of anything I'd change about my parenting.

Jude and I seemed to fumble and bluff our way through it quite successfully somehow, and you couldn't ask for a better posse. Unconditional love and respect seems to be a big part of it. And remembering what it was like to BE a child. Really remember. Our kids were always funny ... not cute funny, but smart funny. Fun to watch shit movies with ... that's what I remember.

The vital elements for a long-lasting relationship ... Jude always says she never had a better offer ... which makes sense on a deep level. God knows. I guess I got lucky at the get-go. "Compromise" isn't a weakness either ... Love the one you're with ... and make a bit of an effort.

If I am a colour I am warm grey. Like the way "white" photographs in art magazines.

Crikey, life is better nowadays. Much better. I have an enormous faith in science. What really concerns me is the existential gap between the commonly perceived doom-and-gloom view of the world, and the actual, measurable progress that's happening.

And all the panic about artificial intelligence ... there is only intelligence, whether it be biological or mechanical.

If I were offered a commission to do a final portrait of former Prime Minister John Key, of course I'd accept. Never voted for him, but a drink and a chat wouldn't hurt. He actually owns a large abstract of mine ... or he used to ... I'd sit him in front of that.

I'd like my Mum to be able to see how far my art has taken me ... she'd be amazed. She'd be even more amazed to see I still use the grid system she taught me all those years ago. Guess I'd say, "thanks for the grid... and the genes".

The word retirement? Ha ha ... not sure how that's meant to work. Maybe I should take up painting for a hobby? The question or issue I've been trying to rationalise and can't is very current ... Netanyahu's bizarre sense of entitlement ... illegal is illegal isn't it? Or am I missing something?

Am I gentler or more aggressive with age? A bit of both actually ...

2016 was a pretty amazing year for me. A lot of excitement. The launch of our Cooking 4 Change cookbook; the success of the Fred Hollows "Frizzell" frames and the Blunt Umbrella Oxfam campaign. And my Hundertwasser fundraiser print edition for the Whangarei Art Gallery ... raising heaps of money for the new Hundertwasser building. It was a big year.

- Canvas

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