Spartanburg artist transforms rooms with vibrant work in new TV series

SPARTANBURG — 33-year-old artist Frankie Zombie was a Bronx kid who moved to Spartanburg before creating a TV series that helped her family reclaim space in their homes, and in some ways helped others. wanted to influence

“I was more lonely when I was a kid,” Zombie said. “I was daydreaming and drowsy, and before I knew what the palette was, I noticed the tones of the graffiti on the walls, the colors, the shapes, the palette of the cartoons.”

Zombie is currently participating in a Magnolia Network series called “Artfully Designed”.

Together with interior designer Natalie Papier and muralist Rachel Jackson, he breathes new life into spaces in clients’ homes. The first season has four episodes of him and aired last December. Zombie said there are plans to shoot more episodes.

The client indicates to the creative which parts of the house they would like to reuse, and the creative collaborates on how to design the space.

“We just throw in a big gumbo pot and the art starts to speak for itself and see what pieces we want to remove,” he said.

Filming the show allowed Zombie to see how far he could push himself. He said he enjoys interacting with his family to see what they want from their home and to hear if their space is meaningful.

Bethlehem Center Mural

A mural at the Bethlehem Center on Highland Avenue in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Frankie Zombie was created in collaboration with Spartanburg-based artist Adrian Meadows.Asia Rollins/staff

Bold and colorful geometric shapes and letters used in Zombie art can be found in cars, shoes, backpacks, guitars and pianos. He creates work for brands such as NASCAR and Mercedes-Benz, networks HBO and NBA TV, and celebrities.

However, the path to a career as an abstract visual artist wasn’t always clear for Zombie.

Before eighth grade, Zombie and his family moved from New York City to Spartanburg. After he graduated from Dorman High School in 2007, he worked in a warehouse for almost a year.

One day while driving and listening to music, the beat of the song “American Boy” by artist Estelle featuring Kanye West inspired Zombie to take her first steps into a career in the creative world. I stepped out. Zombie said it was the first time he seriously considered what he wanted to do.

“I realized how much I was jamming and paying attention to the bass note,” he said.

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Zombie returned to New York City and began making and producing beats for hip-hop label Young Money Entertainment. He was a producer for about three years before he fell into depression.

“I was able to find a medium of work that could inspire other people, but I couldn’t find a way to do that with music.

Zombie said that, in a way, not having enough money to buy art supplies forced him into some of the mediums he did, including painting on guitars and pianos. is inspired by everyday objects, from the clothes people wear to the bicycles that pass by on the sidewalk.

Zombie works in many different styles, but there is a particular style he uses when working with an automotive brand that combines abstract art with graffiti art.

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His graffiti-like non-stop movement and curves are influenced by his upbringing in the Bronx. The softer side of abstract art comes from the South, who said zombies were less aggressive and needed to be more open-minded and learned.

“I was a regular student,” he said. “I have always been a student of the people.”

After receiving news that his mother had been diagnosed with cancer, Zombie returned to Spartanburg to be near his family.

Bronx has had a huge impact on zombie art, but he says he really became a visual artist at Spartanburg.

Unlike people who break big in big cities, zombies break big in small cities. He said Spartanburg truly embraced him as a visual artist and some of his first murals were painted in the city.

Some of Zombie’s vivid creations can be seen on the ceiling of the Cleveland Academy of Leadership, a mural at the Bethlehem Center, inside the RJ Rockers Brewing Company, and at Mary H. Wright Elementary School.

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His work can also be seen in the Black Lives Matter crosswalk mural on West Broad Street in downtown Spartanburg. He has organized projects involving over ten of his other artists.

Zombie begins to realize that art has brought him back to a new relationship with music.

After the pandemic, he wanted to find a way to bring happiness into his life, so he started visiting clients and painting old pianos. He calls his piano commission his reproduction piano. One of Zombie’s favorite parts of working on the piano is the story his owner tells about the object.

Zombie said he wants people to feel like anything is possible after seeing his work.He sees art as a free form of expression.

“Regardless of what the news is or what your opinion is, please provide news that somehow expresses something and that someone else can be in some way inspired by what you create. “It has to be delivered,” he said.

Zombie is gearing up for his first solo art show called 2’s Of A Woman on January 28th in Charlotte. He said the number 2 represents balance, and the women in his life influenced him to become who he is today. For Zombie, the show is a night to appreciate all the women who have inspired him.

He sees the show as a one-time experience. Because once the show is over, people can’t see the art again. Zombie said he wants to tour some more major cities.

All proceeds from the show will go back to three charities and everyone who helped make the event happen. The first solo exhibition is a moment that comes full circle for Zombie. Because after his 20-year quest, he can find his passion and use his gifts to inspire others and bring light.

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