Fred Cress, the iconic Australian Artist, was cremated yesterday after losing his long battle with cancer last Wednesday, 14th October. The celebration of Fred's seventy one years was attended by hundreds of friends and fellow artists whose lives had been made more interesting, if not better, by this generous entertainer, wonderful guitarist and music enthusiast. By all accounts, was a great friend who loved a secret and a beautiful woman (preferably blonde).
Fred Cress was initially an abstract artist who, after his marriage to artist Anne Judell broke up (and counter to the prevailing interest of the rest of the artworld) began painting uncompromising figurative canvases depicting greed, jealousy, venality and, in the "End Game" series, ruminations on death, hell and heaven. His work was challenging-viewers seemed to either love or hate it, but could never ignore it (which was the way Fred liked it).
His sons Kymton and Julian, spoke of a father who has left a wonderful legacy on how to be a man, to dream big and to live fully and according to ones own lights. His partner Victoria Fernandez, and friends Richard Morecroft and Alan Krell, also spoke emotionally of a hard working artist who was a "mean" tennis player, who also gained much satisfaction from the "hands on" renovation of his house in the south of France (he and Victoria spent alternate six month stints in France and Australia). His family and friends will miss him greatly.
Image: Fred Cress in his studio, courtesy Australian Galleries