Multimedia Artist Charly Fasano Delivers a Rich Storytelling Experience

You can find art all over town — not just on gallery walls. In this series, we'll be looking at some of the local artists who serve up their work in coffeehouses and other non-gallery businesses around town.

Charly Fasano’s foray into the art world began with poetry. “I realized I wanted to find ways to illustrate my poems so viewers would get a broader image,” he recalls, and the ways he found led to a multi-media experience. Fasano recorded albums with the Memphis-based, country-punk rock band Lucero, and some, like the recently released 7-inch Retrospect/ed, come with a book of QR codes and a block print designed to incorporate all of the senses into the viewing experience. “Except smell,” says Fasano. “I wish I could figure out smell!”

Fasano will engage all your senses at a showing of his drawings and paintings, Get the Bird Out!, which will open at The Matchbox on June 2, with an opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m. The show, which will runs through June 29, will feature work outside Fasano’s typical forte, including large-scale renderings of clumsy birds and awkward people — all surprised.

In part, the idea for the series came from Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller The Birds. “I was watching that along with old Spaghetti Westerns, and there were always these startling moments,” says Fasano.

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Fasano began drawing and painting in order to share his abstract interpretation of initial reactions — and while painting is new to him, storytelling is something he’s been doing all along.  “There are stories everywhere, and I like paying attention to the details,” he says, adding, “Riding public transit in Denver, for example, or walking down Colfax or South Broadway, there are a million stories I could tell.”

Fasano began dabbling with block prints when he was living in Chicago. “One day I went to the art store and bought a carving tool,” he recalls. “There was a worksite behind where I lived, and I’d grab chunks of wood from the scrap pile."  Eventually Fasano moved into linoleum. 

“It’s a very primitive form of art that predates screen printing,” Fasano says. His prints are always black and white, but some of his new pieces include vivid colors. Using pen, ink and acrylic on canvas definitely had its challenges, he notes. The end result, though, is skilled and intricate.

Fasano’s poetry and block prints have appeared in birdy., Kilgore Quarterly and 3 Kings Tavern Comp, among others; he’s published under his press, Fast Geek Press, and shown his work at Cabal Enterprises. Along with the June show at Matchbox, he'll be reading poems and stories at 3 Kings Tavern on June 3. For more information, visit Fasano’s website or follow him on Twitter.  

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