The artists, known for their comic approach to art, were chosen for this project in late 2001 by a selection panel that included local artists, Aviation Department staff and airline representatives. American Freeze (or Everybody Frieze) is constructed of aluminum panels cut into images based on gag gifts, toys, and nostalgic items from popular culture. The panels were rolled, bent and welded together to form a series of intertwined shapes mounted on the wall in a playful version of a “frieze," a traditional architectural wall ornament. The images were inspired by The Art Guys' extensive collection of 1950's comic books and were selected to provide humor in a busy airport environment. From a distance, the frieze seems to be just a swirl but, like cloud formations, the shapes begin to reveal themselves on approach and closer study. The artists' intention was to provide hurried travelers a moment of joy and to reward those with more time with an interesting mix of images.
The work was developed in collaboration with the Aviation Department and the “D" Concourse architects, Phoenix-based DWL Architects.