"Retablo No. 4 (Blackbird)" by Patrick Fitzgerald

$1,580 USD
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W: 11.5" D: 3.75" H: 13.5"
Mixed Materials
Oil on Board
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The intricate retablos of contemporary artist Patrick Fitzgerald are his means of paying homage to the musicians that inspired him throughout his life. Derived from Mexican votive painting, his retablos are an offering to the revered people and places that dwell in his memory and imagination. The series began as a way to process the simultaneous melancholy and fascination he experienced after the passing of an admired musical artist. Since then, his retablos have taken many forms, each a three-dimensional collage layered with spontaneous decisions and nostalgic references. In itself an act of devotion, his ‘record store retablos’ are painstakingly crafted to honor his love of music and reveal the arcane, internal worlds of his imagination.

This particular work, entitled "Retablo No. 4 (Blackbird)," began with an old newspaper clipping from 1975 about Paul McCartney and his upcoming studio recordings. Inspired by McCartney's song "Blackbird" and its themes of freedom, Fitzgerald layered the retablo with natural elements and shades of white, a reference to the Beatles’ iconic White Album.

Like the bird building its nest from twigs and branches, he arranged found materials and miniature elements to create a vignette of an independent record studio, a quiet still life of a memory frozen in time. Perfectly cluttered by miniature vinyls, mastertapes and newspaper clippings reimagined as vintage signage, the captivating scene draws you in with an incredible atmosphere and a palpable sense of nostalgia. An image on the left side depicts Musidora, the famous French actress of the silent film era, while on the back is a hand-written note of the chorus to “Blackbird” in Spanish. Enclosed within a white-painted wooden frame, the retablo recalls shadow box folk art and sits as a free-standing sculpture.

"Retablo No. 4 (Blackbird)," 2023
Patrick Fitzgerald
Oil, mixed media, and collage mounted on wood panel.

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Patrick Fitzgerald

b. 1962, Grand Rapids, MI

Chicago artist Patrick Fitzgerald refers to his body of work as his “Neighborhood of Infinity,” a borrowed term used literally to describe the bounty of materials and creative inspiration he found in the industrial landscapes of his youth. For the last decade, Fitzgerald has been mining his early experiences, re-envisioning the mechanical world of his childhood through the eye of an artist.


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