This artist gives broken records new life through stunning vinyl portraits

While the rest of the world has been listening and collecting records, Greg Frederick has spent the last six years breaking them into pieces.

Frederick is a Brooklyn artist who creates portraits of iconic figures with an intricate tapestry of vinyl record pieces as part of his business, Vinyl Pop Art. The photographer started Vinyl Pop Art around 2011 after moving to New York City from London, with aspirations of finding ways to make his photos stand out. A bit of serendipity on the streets of New York, mixed with some trial and error, led to an epiphany that changed his life and his livelihood.

“Someone commissioned me for a gift for Stevie Nicks, so she owns one of my pieces.”

“One day walking around Brooklyn, I found a box of chipped 45s, took them home, started playing with those, and adding to it,” Frederick said. He initially tried arranging pieces of vinyl on already made photographs before deciding it would be cooler to make portraits with just the vinyl. “One day I thought ‘what if I got rid of the photo?’ That’s pretty much how Vinyl Pop Art started.”

Greg has since made vinyl portraits in various sizes of a host of stars, including Sade, Erykah Badu, Michael Jackson, and Mick Jagger, to name just a few. He’s been commissioned to make portraits for some of the biggest artists in the world. “Someone commissioned me for a gift for Stevie Nicks,” Frederick said. “So, she owns one of my pieces.”

Frederick’s art is truly DIY to the core. He only uses discarded, unplayable vinyl records he gets from record stores and on eBay. Now, with his latest collection, he’s upping the ante on the nostalgia and incorporating cassette tapes as the canvas the vinyl pieces will rest upon.

“The most difficult part of my new process is definitely the resin,” Greg said. “Air bubbles seep through into the plastic. Think of Jurassic Park with the mosquito inside. It’s like, try and get that mosquito out.” Frederick says each resin process takes a full day to set in. So unless you have time and patience, this DIY project may not be for you.

Frederick has been successful enough selling his portraits to make it his livelihood, thanks in large part to technology. “I could not be a full time artist if it wasn’t for social media … It’s like a comic without Twitter,” Frederick said before belting out a hearty laugh.

“With any artist, your main goal is to have as many eyes on your art as possible. Instagram is my best friend. ”

Frederick is preparing to share his new collection in an upcoming exhibit, and you can check out pictures of his past projects on his official website. You can also get an intimate look inside his process and the story behind some of his most notable portraits in our exclusive video above.