Randy Caruso

New York Times

Stop. Snap. Move. Repeat for, Oh, 10 or 20 Years.

Stop-Motion Animation: ‘Goodnight Molly,’ ‘Halfland’

By ROBERT ITO | Published: May 18, 2012  |  The original article is here

FOR the last seven years, John Frame has been working on a film in his home in Wrightwood, Calif. Its cast includes a cockeyed skeleton, a bespectacled monkey and a horned man sporting a cloak adorned with eyeballs. Mr. Frame made all of the characters himself out of wood and found objects, built the sets, even composed the score. When he discovered that his characters were going “wherever they wanted to go,” he let them. For the first four years of the project, he worked completely alone, driven by what may have been a muse or “daemons,” he’s unsure which; not even his closest friends and colleagues knew what he was up to.

Mr. Frame is part of an underground group of stop-motion artists in Southern California who labor in the shadows of the major studios. Long the center of studio-backed stop-motion animation made by artists like Ray Harryhausen and Art Clokey, the area is now home to scores of solo practitioners more interested in creating highly personal art pieces than commercial works. This year looks to be a strong one for stop-motion features, with big-budget releases including Sony Pictures’ “The Pirates! Band of Misfits,” Laika’s “Paranorman” and Disney’s Tim Burton film “Frankenweenie.”

Unlike the creators of those movies, Mr. Frame and his colleagues work alone or with the smallest of crews, creating makeshift studios in their homes. On a typical day, Mr. Frame can film from 1 to 10 seconds of footage,

Los Angeles Times

A theatrical world strangely like ours

At John Frame’s ‘Enigma Variations’ exhibition in Long Beach, pieces challenge viewers to discover their secrets.

February 05, 2005 | David Pagel  |  Original article is here

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 do-it-yourself lover of every little detail of every little job.

But Frame is an artist, so he plays all these roles with far less ballyhoo than Hollywood often festoons on its egomaniacal micromanagers and do-it-all control freaks.

At the Long Beach Museum of Art, the fruits of Frame’s patient labors are displayed in a wonderfully engaging exhibition in which intimacy takes center stage. Sensitively selected by Gordon Fuglie, director of the Laband Art Gallery at Loyola Marymount University, “Enigma Variations: The Sculpture of John Frame, 1980-2005” is made for folks who prefer the solitude of out-of-the-way libraries to the cacophony of malls and the hyperactivity of video arcades, both of which big, crowd-seeking museums are beginning to resemble a lot more today than when the 54-year-old artist started showing his work.

The Huffington Post

Inside the Huntington’s Boone Gallery are 35 completed characters, multiple sets and a working theatrical stage that have been hewn from Frame’s imagination over the past five years.

“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.)


Exhibit of sculptures and animation by John Frame

By   |  am Monday, Apr 25 | Original Article


Los Angeles’s Huntington Library is celebrating the exquisite sculptures and phantasmagorical animation of Southern California artist John Frame. The exhibition, titled “Three Fragments of a Lost Tale,” runs until June 20 and features more than three dozen figures and props, ranging from a few inches to almost three feet tall, that Frame crafted from carved wood and found materials. Also included are Frame’s stop-motion film and photographs, along with the short documentary viewable above by Johnny Coffeen with a soundtrack scored by Frame. A companion art book, Three Fragments of a Lost Tale: Sculpture and Story by John Frame, is available.

Followup from BoingBoingYesterday, I posted about the hypertalented sculptor/animator/musician John Frame, whose artwork is on display at the Huntington Library near Los Angeles until June 20. The exhibit features more than three dozen figures and props, ranging from a few inches to almost three feet tall, that Frame crafted from carved wood and found materials for his feature film-in-progress, titled “The Tale of The Crippled Boy.”(Read More/View Film)

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 www.scpr.org)

Los Angeles Forum:

5x5_in_PRINTMagical exhibit at the Huntington in San Marino: John Frame

Apr 16, 2011, 5:04 PM | For visitors who are thinking of visiting the Huntington Gardens, Library and Gallery in San Marino (near Pasadena)— and for locals who haven’t visited in a while:

In addition to its usual treasures (finest gardens in Southern California, interesting art collections and world-class library, AND yummy treats at the tea room), the Huntington is showing an amazing exhibit of sculpture by Southern California artist John Frame. Like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Magical, otherworldly, strangely alive and spiritual small figurative sculptures/puppets, inhabiting a mysterious world of their own. Part of an ongoing project that will include a film and a “story”, some of which can be seen as part of the exhibit. My friend and I were just blown away; I can’t wait to take other family and friends to see this exhibit.

It is there til mid-June; recommended for all ages (I think children will love it); tucked away in a hard-to-find location in the very back building, so ask if you can’t find it. (read more)

Edward Goldman on HuffPost Arts

Huffington Post

Edward Goldman Edward Goldman | Art Critic, NPR-Affiliate KCRW 89.9 FM

The Art of Twisting and Turning Reality as We Know It

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? (Read More.)

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