Frank Dorrey - The Softest Wind You Carry


Frank Dorrey's de-morphed characters find love in a deep-fried fairy cul-de-sac between photomanipulation and painting. Contrast-squeezed textures and cartoon outlines carve graphic figures out of the photographic, irradiated with joyously garish colors at once too dark and too bright. Originally posted to Instagram, his hyper-stimulated portraits vibe comfortably next to absurdist memes and filtered selfies.

Frank's distortions, executed with a smartphone app, complicate modern archetypes of Black America with a smeared facial feature, a fantastical juxtaposition, an unguarded smile. Lovers and friends mug for the camera in Crayola suburbs; sometimes a goblin smiles upon them from a garage.

These pieces celebrate Black joy even as they move in and out of a grotesque haze. Their subjects' individuality and kinship shine through; a fragile utopia emerges. We’re presented with an optimistic We-Funk fever dream about the people we love, rendered in digital chaos.

-Nico Ramsey


48 pages
7.25" x 8"
Edition of 300
November 2021