Peter Frederiksen Dramatizes the Dark Humor of Classic Cartoons in His Cropped Embroideries

Peter Frederiksen Dramatizes the Dark Humor of Classic Cartoons in | RetinaComics

“The days keep getting longer.” All images © Peter Frederiksen, shared with permission

Chicago-based artist Peter Frederiksen (previously) pinpoints the most ridiculous, exaggerated moments in cartoons and animated shows to dramatize them further into absurdity. Cropping a single outlandish action or event, Frederiksen uses free-motion machine embroidery to stitch stylized compositions that, out of context, emphasize their dark humor.

Recent works include a Looney Tunes-style mishmash of feet and fists that burst through a bulging door in “Some locks won’t hold” and the tongue-in-cheek archery challenge of “Going easy on myself.” Often focusing on escalated tensions, the embroideries accentuate moments of high anxiety in a nostalgic, comforting childhood medium.

Frederiksen has started to switch to digital jacquard weavings for larger pieces. The base becomes a guide for his stitches and provides a colorful backing, which allows for less dense compositions. He’s also incorporated more unwieldy crops, including in works like “The days keep getting longer,” portraying a preposterously elongated filing cabinet.

In April, Frederiksen will open a solo show at Steve Turner Gallery in Los Angeles, along with a dual show in June at UNION Gallery in London. He plans to release a limited-edition print with All Star Press on April 25 and has a candle collaboration coming this spring with Varyer. Follow his latest works and chances to attend one of his workshops in Chicago on Instagram.

 

an embroidery of a hand holding a hot dog with mustard and additional links still connected to the ends

“Start in the middle and work back”

an embroidery of a cartoon character pushing against a bulging door with hands and feet poking through the sides

“Some locks won’t hold”

an embroidery of an axe chopping a tree that's barely standing

“Closer with every cut”

a hand holds a bow to shoot at a very close target

“Going easy on myself”

a light shines on a wooden chair with a dollar on it that's tied to a string

“Interrogation of desire”

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