How do memories forge identity? A memory is different from the way a computer stores files. Human memory isn’t kept tucked away, perfectly in tact, waiting to be referenced at some point in time. When recalling a moment, the brain recreates the experience, which is why eye-witness reports can be misleading. Our memory is subject to error. Feelings, recollection from others, and simple memory loss can lead to different realities; the one that occurred in time and space, and the one(s) we believe occurred. If our memory can fail, then what does this say about our identity? What is real?
David Frison’s Foundation focuses on past experiences, moments, that have shaped him into the young man he is. Although memories have the potential to fail us, the emotions attached to them feel real. Perception is reality. The emotions that Frison experienced, the ones that have been suppressed for the majority of his life, leak out onto the wall.
A moment of anxiety lead Frison to paint. What was originally a method to relieve stress, the process became a form of understanding the self; resulting in symbols, unique hieroglyphs, where each one is a reflection of a specific moment. An emotion surfacing from a space that was kept away. A piece of himself waiting to be expressed.
Some of the hieroglyphs are neat, others are awkward, a few appear careless. He drew from a space unfamiliar, “out of nowhere”. On the path of self discovery, Frison noticed there was repetition in his work, patterns that channelled specific thoughts and feelings. In the end, an alphabet was born, expressing who he is. Layered in front of these images are emotions, memories that are important to one’s development. Mother and father. Brother and sister. The city in which we are raised, in this case Detroit and the people who inhabit it. Connecting his memories as emotional and physical entities. What is the bond that bridges the two?
His answer is spiritual, taking the form of a mandala. It’s a decorated text of all his emotions, where the viewer should see it as “a halo.” As such, a level of meditative sincerity is needed. This halo, this revered object of the spiritual world, becomes a portal to Frison’s soul. It’s an intimate experience, a vulnerable existence.
On his path of healing, Frison discovered depths that didn’t know existed. Feelings long thought extinguished. He summarized his piece as “Expressing and understanding one’s true self.” Reflecting on these memories, these moments, help us understand where the lies end, and the truth begins. He welcomes you to sit down with him, to explore his deepest thoughts, his private wants, his entire being. To unearth something about yourself that has been locked away. Open that door. Lay down. Feel.
And ask yourself.
What is your foundation?
Once a piece become public, whether if it is a mural or street art, it becomes everyone’s art. Public art is accessible to all people for free all the time no matter who you are. With my art I feel it as my duty to inspire people to do better and become better. With all that goes on in each generation the least I can do is to keep one hopes up and inspire ways to solve current issues. I know that art has the power to change people and to change countries and that gives me the responsibility to do that. With my public art and murals, I want people become inspired by the space that they are in, whether that’s inside of a hotel or the back of an abandoned building.