Artist: Greg Frux

Death Valley Jet

Death Valley Jet by Greg Frux

(original dimensions are 35” x 22”)

Brooklyn-based artist Gregory William Frux documents and celebrates the life of his city in oil paintings & drawings. His work has earned recognition from such diverse organizations as Brooklyn Arts Council, The Library of Congress, Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the National Park Service.

Besides his urban work, Greg has been inspired by his time in the wilderness. His travel adventures have become sources for his art.

“When I returned to Death Valley for a second time in 2006 I had a pretty good idea I would do a painting of a fighter jet over our national park. Flying from bases in Southern California and maybe also Nevada, the military’s right to overfly the western half of the park was grandfathered as part of the agreement to add this land under the 1994 California Desert Protection Act. I looked at these metal war machines with horror and fascination. The effect of seeing something so heavy moving fast only a couple of hundred feet off the ground is stunning. The image came to me as I saw a pair of jets fly down the canyon in the Inyo Mountain which I had just hiked up. They were violently loud, amazingly fast, precise and disturbing. I have tried to capture the experience as I saw it. The apparent steepness of the dive is a product of the angle of viewing.” ~ Greg Frux

Visit Greg’s website
Contact Greg at


~ by wholeterrain on June 7, 2007.

11 Responses to “Artist: Greg Frux”

  1. great image greg! one wishes that no one was in the jet, and that it might crash into the valley……never to be heard from again…keep up the thought provoking work,

  2. I am enjoying watching the development of Greg’s painting. It has this combination of amazing precision with surreal surprise.

  3. I have had just such experiances while climbing the cliffs at papoose flat in the inyo mountains. The planes seem to come in at impossible angles, as we see in the painting, and take whole gigantic landforms in maneuvers which take only a few seconds.

  4. I once took a photo of Marine helicopters flying in protective formation for the President over Central Park’s Sheep’s Meadow. This painting has the same feeling: a fantastic, engrossing and terrifying image of modernity. A presage of a post-apocalyptic world? Maybe not, but I believe that jet aircraft are an excellent artistic device for highlighting the contrast between the fast, mechanized world and the snail’s pace of natural life. Indeed, that differential—or analogs of it—defines so many global issues, political, spiritual, environmental. Time has passed at different speeds in different places, and jets are a shocking and powerful expression of this truth. In a second, they can wipe clean all the work of a lifetime. Lucky we have artists like Greg continuing to create.

  5. Great painting, Greg, you did an amazing job. This vision is just what it felt like to see those fighters fly out of the canyon. The Saline Valley is an astoundingly huge place, and somehow the ferocity of those jets, coming and going so fast, just punctuate the vastness and then are gone.

  6. The image works. The Valley is beautiful and austere, the machine intrudes and is even hatefule. As i am predisposed to hostility to all military power, but find flying macines beautiful, predisposed to suspician of technology but also devoted to collective and individual human material accomplishments including technology this jusxtaposition could be more ambivalent for me, but soem what of the painters response transfers instead; i am horrified to see the jet and even a little frighted for the landscape that would otherwise seem so eternal and larger than human life. Thanks…

  7. The painting sits on my wall and I gaze at it with satisfaction and wonder. How amazing to be able to translate a sublime (as in beautiful and terrible) experience into paint? The artwork was the result of an idea, an oil sketch and photographs on site in remote Saline Valley. Then larger studies in my studio, research of jet types, purchase of an plastic F-16 model and lots of painting and thinking for about six months.

    So, I can see that this canvas connects with people and I am very pleased. Here is a question– what is the best and highest use for this work of art? Where should it end up?

  8. I live in the beautiful farmlands of western Massachusetts, and the first time I saw a C5A flying over the small mountain behind my house, I had a visceral feeling of violation. This painting has the same effect; the fighter plane is dominating a landscape it has no business being in. The message is powerful and compelling: war intrudes on our lives even in serene and remote Death Valley.

  9. Thanks the author for article. The main thing do not forget about users, and continue in the same spirit.

  10. Returned to Death Valley this April. The terrain remains some of the most dramatic and stunning in the United States. I hope that my paintings ask people to think afresh about what landscapes are beautiful.

  11. Really interesting to see the discussions from your painting! This is certainly not uncommon to see or hear out west… the jets are incredibly impressive to see, hear, and feel in such remote places but sometimes it’s nice to enjoy the simple peace and quiet of these areas. I guess the pilots are there training- and I’ve also been in places like that for training (just on my own 2 feet). GREAT new website Greg – keep up the amazing work 🙂

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