“Convergence,” Swanson Reed Contemporary, Louisville, KY (Dual exhibition with Brad White), 2008
The basic premise behind this series of work, Convergence, is to trace humanity’s lineage from the moment we separated ourselves from the rest of the animal kingdom, to today. The representation of that lineage, for me, is best expressed using the paths we have followed in the creation of our art. It is my goal to not only incorporate elements of art beginning with primitive cave paintings through modern history, but to do it in such a way that it converges into a new, contemporary experience.
This series is a continuation of a theme I explored with my last body of work shown in the “Underground” installation. However, where I touched upon the parallels inherent in the work of original cave paintings to today’s graffiti artists, I have since broadened my scope. I still incorporate various aspects surrounding cave painting and graffiti, but I have also chosen to add bits of other art-historical work to better exemplify where we have been and how we have gotten to where we are today. This branching out isn’t just limited thematically, but also physically. This showing isn’t one singular installation piece like my previous exhibitions, but I have created multiple individual works that challenge the viewer to absorb and interact with the work beyond standard methods and displays of typical two-dimensional work. This allows my work to continue to hold a unique presence with the viewer, while creating greater breathing room to explore a wider set of ideas and associations.
The repeated use of the wolf imagery is an attempt to use one centralized figure to represent all the transitions and changes we have created and endured over the course of time. The wolf seemed like an ideal model for such a task, as the wolf is humanity’s oldest animal companion and our closest link to the natural world from where we have come from. The wolf also carries a number of other associations for me that resonate with the artistic world as well. There have been few other species that have created such strong feelings of fear and affection as wolves have. They are also an original media of which we have personally shaped in an attempt to fulfill our needs to serve us in both utilitarian and aesthetic means. Much like artists throughout time have used base mediums such as pigments, oil, and water to create whatever was wanted or needed for various reasons, humans have taken the base medium of wolf genetics and warped it over time to create any number breeds of dog to service us in whatever means we have deemed as worthy at that moment.
Ultimately, it has been my goal to take pieces of our past that give us feelings of familiarity to create new levels of understanding and appreciation. In doing so, I hope to also mark the notch of my own existence upon that lineage of artists of the past forty-thousand years, and beyond.