October 7th to December 20th. Riles Gallery, 2nd floor. Free.
Opening Reception on Oct 16 from 3-5 p.m.
A collection of works on paper created at the Serlachius Residency in Mänttä, Finland. Employing a visual text-based narrative this collection of works on paper is an exploration of the joys, melancholy, and anxiety of family and fatherhood at this moment in time.
As an artist I place high importance on attending artist residences at this point in my life. Being a father, husband and teacher, I have very different demands on my time but mostly the demands of being a father occupy most of my time. Taking time away from the family to attend residencies is difficult for us but we make it work. It is a necessity, especially being an artist in a rural location to stay current and connected to a larger art world and to create community through focused meaningful research time. Fortunately, this time, I was able to bring my family with me and combine my responsibilities and research together on a memorable life experience for the family and me.
Entering a new space and time, outside our normal life, changed my creative path when I arrived. I had plans of continuing ideas I had before I left for Finland but the experience once we arrived immediately changed my line of thinking and for the better. Conceptually my work generally deals with use of language and directly sharing stories/ideas of fatherhood as an interrogation of the role of patriarchy in American’s capitalistic system through drawing and painting. What I found once I started working in Mänttä was how profoundly I was affected by the light and environment.
The light, the daylight in June lasted all day and night. Coupled with feeling jet-lagged in the first few days created an altered sense of space which allowed for a reconsideration of how I was sharing and relating my ideas through drawing. My work took on a more lyrical, “musical”, aspect. I began to sublimate the ideas of song writing as drawing. This opened a new avenue of engagement; expanding my conceptual understanding and the use of a lyrical tone to delve into philosophical ideas without being too direct. Like a circling or singing of a truth.
Conceptually it’s easy to understand the work as the drawing is the writing and the writing is the drawing. Collapsing the space of how we see language and how we hear language when we read it. More important is the tone of the conversation and sharing my ideas of seeing the world through the lens of fatherhood. Historically and culturally men didn’t share or don’t share the joys and struggles of taking care of or raising children. Including what men historically choose to represent in art. My research looks to a different sensibility of value in a conversation through drawing and painting.