By Melissa Sutherland (with intro by Hayden Proud)
Published by M J and R M Spears
Frank Spears was a musician, a radio broadcaster, an actor; but first and foremost, he was an artist. Frank Spears – The Painter is a very thorough investigation of both the artist’s life and his life’s work. It leads the reader from his youth in Birmingham to his early artistry as a shop-front designer in Cape Town, from which he developed to participate in over 100 exhibitions both nationally and internationally.
Frank Spears, “Beethoven”, 67 x 75cm, Libertas
Hayden Proud’s introduction somehow brings more colour to Spears’ (already quite vibrant) work, illuminating the artist’s life for the reader to better understand his perspective. Every shift in stylistic direction can be experienced intimately, as if first-hand, by the detailed writing and beautiful reproductions bound together in this publication.
There is also a beautifully-written chapter in this book employing various quotes by Spears to convey what art meant to him. You need not read it to understand this though, as his passion radiates out of his artworks.
Esme Berman wrote in her book Art and Artists of South Africa: “There is an intimacy about Frank Spears’s portrayal of his subjects that evokes immediate and warm response from viewers.” This is proved true in Frank Spears – The Painter, as the book cannot fail to lift one’s spirits with the beautiful life that it represents. – Reviewed by SA Art Times Staff Writer