Artist Chris Fraticelli: Once Loved, Twice Broken
Here is an episode of Santa Monica College’s On Background. During this interview host Michael Fanelli with The Corsair’s Managing Editor Yasser Marte, gives feedback on Chris Fraticelli.
The walls were covered from floor to ceiling with an explosive treasure trove of art - paintings, polaroids, mask dolls, porcelain dolls, naked Christmas cards, Christmas lights, a broken television with a stuffed raccoon full of colorful sewing pins on to its eyes, and a neon light illuminating the word: God. Sitting in the middle of this mountainous bric-a-brac of eclectic work, on an old apricot sofa is artist Chris Fraticelli. “This is my apartment,” said Fraticelli. He cracks a smile. The room is a replica of Fraticelli's living room which is on display along with his first art installation Once Loved, Twice Broken at The California Heritage Museum in Santa Monica, California.
Once Loved, Twice Broken is Fraticelli’s mosaic creation of shattered porcelain dolls that synthetically paste a narrative on issues on social economic oppression, capitalism, feminism, and racism. His most provocative and layered art piece Land of the Free Home of the Slave is garnished with Jim Crow dolls which discusses the government’s exploitation of African Americans living in America. “To me, these pieces, the youth has never seen these. They got buried in the forties, fifties, and sixties..they were commonplace and the old generation knows them. That’s supposed to be a black man as a clown [Jim Crow doll] and these were on people’s tables,” said Fraticelli.
Fraticelli is a former marine combat engineer who worked breeching mines and explosives during Operation Desert Storm. He served five months and eventually traveled to Southern California where he worked on television programs such as The Roseanne Barr Show, The Man Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.
Fraticelli began devoting his time to art two years ago. “Like my apartment, everything is a mosaic and it’s kind of about expanding into different forms,” said Fraticelli. “I kind of lay them out before I glue them. I have to tell a story but I didn’t know I was telling a story until I was into it. All of them start one way and go a different direction.”
Although his shattered sculptures can be interpreted as a reflection of his time in combat, Fraticelli assures that it is not. “I never put those two together but people who read or find out I was in the military - they do,” said Fraticelli. His art pieces are thickened with stories of society's festering hypocrisy and social suppression while simultaneously attempting to maintain, on the surface, tall tales of freedom and pure democracy. Fraticelli may have once served in combat for America but he continues a virtuous battle through art.
UPDATE: This article was updated to fix a spelling error of Chris Fraticelli’s last name.