COOL HUNTING's James Thorne found out about artist Greg Fadell on a recent visit to Detroit:
Discovered on our recent trip to Re:view Gallery in Detroit, Greg Fadell is an abstract artist hell-bent on taking messaging out of art. His massive grayscale aesthetic channels the rawness of abstraction and makes for a piece that is nothing if not experiential. The brother of Tony Fadell—former iPod designer and inventor of the Nest Learning Thermostat—Greg Fadell seems to share his brother's desire to innovate and change. We recently caught up with Fadell in his Detroit studio, situated in an old public school building that has been converted—in that patently Detroit sort of way—into a movie theater, Montessori school and studio space.
The concept for Fadell's current series, "Nothing", came during a Parisian sojourn. Walking down the street, he came across a building undergoing renovation. The windows had been whitewashed for protection, and Fadell became obsessed with the spectral quality of the material. With his elementary command of French, he was able to ask the owner, "Qu'est-ce que c'est le blanc?" or "What is the white?"
Fadell went on to buy the substance, a fine powder, and develop his own paint using polymers and an acrylic base. Applying the paint with homemade brushes, Fadell quickly realized that the paintings lost depth from layering day after day. "I have to work wet, so once I start I cant stop," he explains. With nearly two gallons of paint used for each work, it's surprising that the works dry perfectly flat. The difference between white-on-black and black-on-white pieces is vast—white produces a cold color temperature while black is notably warmer.
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