HIGH FREQUENCIES: 378 — one last time

Art by The Real Frank Tee, music by Kevn Kinney and Clay Harper

Mix Tapes
Photo credit: THE REAL FRANK TEE
MIXTAPES: New works featured in Frank Tee’s three-day exhibit.

The space formerly known as The 378 Gallery, the arts and music gallery on Clifton Road near the corner of McLendon in Candler Park (which closed in February), opens for one last hurrah Thursday, June 29, through Saturday, July 1. The Thursday opening night reception will feature the artwork of The Real Frank Tee, along with musical performances by Kevn Kinney and Clay Harper, from 6-9 p.m. After which, the artwork will be on display through Saturday, July 1. Observant readers will note that Tee created the artwork for Live the Love Beautiful by Drivin N Cryin, Kinney’s band when he’s not performing solo, and also has produced works for Fellini’s Pizza, which Harper started with Mike Nelson before following his musical bliss.

It is appropriate The Real Frank Tee, who helped design the space when it was transformed from a beauty salon to an art gallery, is the final artist to hang his work at 378. His paintings were part of the gallery’s opening show in May, 2019, along with those of Anna Jensen (now Anna Kinney), Kosmo Vinyl (The Clash and Ian Dury confidante), and Ruth Franklin (a regular exhibitor at the different galleries owned by veteran gallery own Shawn Vinson — Art, Arte, Kunst on Luckie Street; Vinson Gallery; and Different Trains — in Atlanta and Decatur). Vinson is also helping to curate, install and promote this last 378 exhibit.

The Real Frank Tee’s work has evolved dramatically since that first show, moving from his just taking a piss at the consumerism, commercialism and hero worship that has taken hold in American culture, to delving deeper into this country’s collective psyche and what is causing not only the decline of western civilization, but the loss of moral rectitude in an age languishing in social media while conservative fascism rears its ugly head.

A press release states, “when prodded for the ubiquitous artist statement, The Real Frank Tee replies, ‘If I’m not the problem, there is no solution,’ which could be construed as the artist jerking us around yet again, but, in reality, acknowledges that change comes from within — know yourself to know a better world.

The centerpiece of the three day exhibit is a house made out of the signs and placards you might see someone at an intersection holding up in an effort to solicit food or money. Many of these signs were liberated from the DeKalb County Police Department property room, where they had been stored as evidence by officers having made arrests while enforcing the vagrancy and no panhandling laws. Others were collected from street corners where those seeking handouts had moved on. Frank Tee says the signs are “attractive to me as art made out of desperation, or maybe deceit, provoking a process in me (ranging) from anger, to blame and judgment, to compassion, empathy and kindness,” the stages goes through when he sees them being held up on any given street corner in Atlanta.

Frank Tee is also launching a new series of works, “Mixtapes,” during the three-day exhibit. For him, the new paintings are “recollections of simpler times when music was Big to me and not as easy to access.”

Veteran Atlanta gallery owner Vinson was enlisted to help curate, install, and promote the show — and “he didn’t hesitate foe a second.” Vinson notes, “I’ve had the privilege of working with ‘Frank’ and showing his art for some time now, and I’m a big fan. He’s not doing it for personal plaudits or fame, thus, the pseudonym. He’s not in it for the money, he donates the proceeds of his art sales to animal charities. He makes art as a form of self therapy, to soothe his soul. It’s real and it’s from his heart”. —CL—
$Free. The Real Frank Tee three-day solo exhibition, Thur., Jun 29-Sat., July 1. Opening reception Thursday, from 6-9 p.m., with music by Kevn Kinney and Clay Harper. 378 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta , 30307 Gallery hours Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Instagram @therealfranktee, @VINSONart, VINSONart.com