Dont Fret Takes Europe, and We All Feel Better

When you hear the name of Street Artist Don’t Fret you can be assured that he means exactly the opposite. Exposing random and selected people’s faults, foibles, and fraternizing habits is just a way to quickly capture the free-wheeling imaginings and inner conversations that Don’t Fret has running through his head almost continuously. On his big 2015 European Tour through Berlin, London, Warsaw, and Viavai, the Chicago-based Street Artist brings his customary wit and observation skills and attacks it all with gusto.

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Dont Fret. Italy 2015. (photo © Dont Fret)

“In Warsaw I was invited by V9 Gallery to come work as artist in residence,” he says of the gradual climb into the gallery world that he is taking. The weather was cold and wet and not great for wheat-pasting so he painted a lot of stuff to stockpile for later. “I created a body of work of busts of influential Polish American artists and writers, including Chicago’s own Ed Paschke,” he says.

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Dont Fret. Italy 2015. (photo © Dont Fret)

In Italy Don’t Fret participated in the Viavai Projeect and did a piece on one of the last textile companies that has not been purchased by a Chinese company.

“I painted a mural of the employees and created two screen prints, one dealing with the issue of Italy’s future as they sell more and more of their infrastructure to China.” The fragments of a classical sculpture are scattered across a wall for the mural, perhaps reflecting the feelings of a once unified, proud and powerful textile industry.

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Could be rolls of textiles, could be large tubes of encased meat. Dont Fret. Italy 2015. (photo © Dont Fret)

The remainder of his European tour was spent painting a mural in London, followed by hitting the streets there and a brief stop in Berlin. The variety of images attests to the artists habit of observing and reacting to his environment. Depicting everyday people and signposts of history and modern life, you may see yourself and your silliness in them; but you don’t mind the gentle mockery because there is a certain respect or pathos present as well.

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Dont Fret. Italy 2015. (photo © Dont Fret)

If you were worried that you are not cool, Don’t Fret assures you that really, no one is. Yes, the most closely held rules of your societal relevance are subjected to his theories of relativity and sharp pointed social dissections, and don’t be surprised if his plaintive text and protruding faces call out some heavy truth – but they’ll leave you smiling as well. Like most good comedians, he keeps the sharpest barbs for himself and only infers utter hypocrisy in the lives and behaviors of others while giving them a tribute for hanging in there; humoring the passersby, as it were.

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Dont Fret. Italy 2015. (photo © Dont Fret)

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Dont Fret. Italy 2015. (photo © Dont Fret)

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Dont Fret. London 2015. (photo © Dont Fret)

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Dont Fret. London 2015. (photo © Dont Fret)

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Dont Fret. London 2015. (photo © Dont Fret)

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Dont Fret. London 2015. (photo © Dont Fret)

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Dont Fret. London 2015. (photo © Dont Fret)

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Dont Fret. London 2015. (photo © Dont Fret)

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Fabulous luxury condos on the way?? Dont Fret. London 2015. (photo © Dont Fret)

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Dont Fret. London 2015. (photo © Dont Fret)

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Dont Fret. London 2015. (photo © Dont Fret)

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Billboard takeover. Dont Fret. Warsaw 2015. (photo © Dont Fret)

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Dont Fret does a tribute to Władysław T. Benda the Polish born illustratrator, graphic designer, mask maker, costume designer and muralist who moved to New York and became a US citizen, created very well known magazine covers and illustrations in the first half of the 20th Century. Warsaw 2015. (photo © Dont Fret)

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Dont Fret. Warsaw 2015. (photo © Dont Fret)

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Dont Fret. Berlin 2015. (photo © Dont Fret)

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Dont Fret. Berlin 2015. (photo © Dont Fret)

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Dont Fret. Berlin 2015. (photo © Dont Fret)

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Dont Fret. Berlin 2015. (photo © Dont Fret)

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Dont Fret. Berlin 2015. (photo © Dont Fret)

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Dont Fret. Berlin 2015. (photo © Dont Fret)