Fats by Terrance Osborne
Any attempt to sum up the life and outsized presence of Antoine “Fats” Domino, Jr. in New Orleans is folly. Simply stated, neither would have been the same without the other. Both are eternal joys. The life Fats lived here – red beans simmering. music radiating from humble architecture more human than the towers that define other cities – is palpable in Terrance Osborne’s robust portrait of The Fat Man (title of the first rock and roll record to sell 1 million copies, cowritten with producer Dave Bartholomew) in the kingdom he ruled with grace and notes.
No matter the accolades (credit from the likes of Elvis, John & Paul; member of the first class inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; Lifetime Achievement Grammy; National Medal of Arts recipient 25th on Rolling Stone’s list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”), the global popularity (65 million records sold, 35 Billboard Top 40 hits – 11 of them Top 10) and the means that flowed from his songwriting, often with Bartholomew (Ain’t That A Shame, I Want To Walk You Home, I’m Gonna Be a Wheel Someday, I’m in Love Again, I’m Walkin’, Whole Lotta Lovin’ and many more), he never left the Lower Ninth Ward until forced out by Katrina. His humility and permanence personified the soul of New Orleans. where music, food and family are bedrock values.
Few painters command color as intuitively as Terrance Osborne, or apply paint with such knowing detail. Osborne’s instinctive sense of light and shadow is felt as much as seen here. There’s much to be discovered in the bounty of this piece, his fifth Jazz Fest commission (including two stand-out Congo Square commissions). Osborne was the natural choice to portray Fats. He illuminates Fats’ continuing legacy by creating a matched “diptych” to his sold-out 2012 Jazz Fest portrait of Troy ”Trombone Shorty” Andrews. It stands on its own yet forms a brilliant baton-passing allegory paired “around da cornder” from Shorty’s house.
Classic oil-based silk-screen pigments p rinted one by one on archival papers over the course of a two month process t ranslate the art ist’s intent with perfect fidelity. The remarqued and canvas editions bear Fats Domino’s estate stamped signature. “Brilliant” doesn’t do the work or his subject justice. Like Fats’ legacy. this Jazz Fest poster is timeless – a defining work and a must-have poster.