Fred

Stonehouse

The Wisconsin tradition of tall tales came out of a practice of storytelling around campfires and in the bunk houses of logging camps. The exaggeration of these stories had to be tempered with elements of humor, adventure, and an understanding of the human condition in order for them to be of lasting interest and persistence in the oral culture. A native of Wisconsin, Fred Stonehouse is widely known for his depictions of a cast of invented characters which heartily nod to his local folkloric predecessors. His subjects, like those of the old tall tales, are hybrids created for their narrative value, often humorous in their imaginative absurdity. Stonehouse presents fragments of personalities, conflicts, fables, and surreal settings, always giving the sense that a fantastic story lies just beyond what can be gleaned from the image alone.