Fred Truck is an artist who works in a variety of media. His works are characterized by the use of everyday objects in an atmosphere of middle class mentality in which recognition plays an important role. His works are saturated with obviousness, mental inertia, clichés and bad jokes. They question the coerciveness that is derived from the more profound meaning and the superficial aesthetic appearance of an image. Fred Truck currently lives and works in West Des Moines
"MultiMedia & beyond, Artware: Intelligent, Responsive Works of Art are Changing Our Ideas About Art." By Judy Malloy, Microtimes, February 8, 1993. p 293-296.
"MultiMedia and beyond: Art Online: a Look at Artists, the Arts Community, and Collaborative Artwork in a New Medium - Electronic Networks. By Judy Malloy, Microtimes, February 8, 1993. pp 298-305.
"Virtual Reality in Des Moines: Fred Truck, Out of Gear, " by Sally Stepanek, Tractor: a Quarterly Magazine of Iowa Arts and Culture, vol. 1 no. 1, Summer 1993, pp 16-20.
Dictionary of the Avant-Gardes, by Richard Kostelanetz. Chicago: Chicago Review Press, Inc, a cappella books, , New York: Schirmer Books, 1993. p 218.
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"Art, design fuse in 'IA01' Annual Show Opens in Des Moines, by Laurie Mansfield. Des Moines Sunday Register, Sunday August 19, 2001, page 3E.
"Trademark Talent" Cityview, June 6, 2001 p27.
Fred Truck's art is created under the auspices of the Badge of Quality Corporation, a fictional business for which he serves as CEO, graphic designer, publicist, historian, and Webmaster. The Badge of Quality Corporation, an entertainment conglomerate, was founded by one of the artist's creations, Mr. Milk Bottle, who also acts as company spokesman. Mr. Milk Bottle appears as an animated character, neon sign, and bronze sculpture, as well as many other guises.
Truck has given his brainchild not only a distinctive look, but a history full of action-packed tales. Mr. Milk Bottle has taken starring roles in imaginary films and cartoons, and he is a major presence at mythical theme parks and merchandising outlets. Truck's work comments on the connections between art and commerce, and on the ubiquity of the corporate logo.
With his simple lines and clean shape, Mr. Milk Bottle can be compared to advertising icons like the Nike Swoosh, as well as to more complex corporate figureheads such as Mickey Mouse. The pieces in this exhibition tie together mercantile and artistic visual presentation. The light boxes, throw pillows, and neon displays so clearly mimic actual merchandise that Truck refers to a gallery that displays his work as having converted into "a typical Badge of Quality Retail Store."
The small bronzes, which resemble more traditional art objects, illustrate subjects from Mr. Milk Bottle's adventures (Fat Boy references the actual bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Little Boy and Fat Man, as well as a fictional weapon that menaced Mr. Milk Bottle in one of his more harrowing exploits).
The preceding essay was written by Chris Gilbert for "By Design IA01" an exhibition at the Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, Iowa in 2001."