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Gavin Worth, Hollywood Fringe graphic artist

July 26, 2010

With the Hollywood Fringe Festival mostly in the rear-view mirror, I want to introduce you to the artist responsible for the Fringe Freaks – that zany cast of colorful characters used to promote the Festival online and in print.

San Francisco-based artist Gavin Worth went to undergrad school with Fringe visibility director, Ken Peterson, who attended Iowa State with Fringe Executive Director and co-founder Ben Hill. “Ken said that my style of artwork might fit in with Fringe, so I sent in some samples and we’ve been working together for about 3 years now.”

Worth drew a lot as a kid, but majored in acting. “The Fringe characters,” Worth says, “came from my thinking about the aspects of the word ‘fringe’ and who would be on the fringe of society. These little freakish characters came to mind. I scribbled them down and we’ve had them ever since. They really caught on with the Fringe team who kept asking for them. I just tried to find as much flexibility as possible. Turns out they can pop up anywhere.”

And they have, as part of online content, postcards, and human costumes.

“They just came out fully formed. When Fringe decided they wanted to use more, I played around with different colors. The Fringe is a brightly colored thing, so that’s the idea I pursued. I started with five characters, but then had to add the triangle-headed guy because we needed a 6th one for postcards.”

It grew from six to roughly forty. “We needed a whole sidewalk of these things, so I came up with more, circle-shaped and head-shaped guys.” But none is named other than Blue Freak, Red Freak, and so on.
Worth supports himself, in part, through a part-time office job in San Francisco, “but the art has grown to take over most of it. Mostly I’m experimenting with common materials like cardboard, cut paper, wood and nails, and wire.”

"And Light Fell on Her Face Through Heavy Darkness" - Steel wire and poplar, 24"x18"x8"

His work shows at various northern California galleries and restaurants, including “The Little Chihuahua” restaurant in San Francisco and Carport Gallery in Healdsburg, which offers many of his wire sculptures.

Gavin Worth’s website is here.

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