The works created for this exhibition have similarities and Roots tied to my previous toy-based works. However, due to various factors such as covid-19 and the subsequent changes in our daily lives and society these works have a little different message behind them. While it may not be obvious to the viewer, as these works evolved I saw them as my way of expressing thoughts and emotions that were related to what was going on around us. Unfinished elements in each work, as well as previous layers and parts of the subjects still being visible in the finished product were a way of showing that while conditions have improved in some ways we are still dealing with issues and problems from several months ago. The figures in my works are often lonely and isolated, fallen, and portrayed in ways that express things that myself and most other people in our Global Society have recently gone through and are continuing to go through. The darkness and looming shadows represent the various, obvious, yet ominous elements of what has been going on as well as a lack of optimism that things will improve rapidly. It’s going to take a long time for the darkness to go away, if it ever fully does. As a result these works intentionally channel a bit of Caravaggio's work, chiaroscuro, tennebrism, baroque, and Renaissance works. The dramatic sense of lighting and contrast in combination with the portrayal of the subjects potentially leads the viewers to see the portrayal of old toys as a serious contemporary message. In many cases these toys and the people that own them have been around a long time, and yet when they were created no one could have foreseen such a bleak and unfortunate series of circumstances that would make up our current and recent daily lives. The toys further represent how innocent we were as a society to not be prepared and consider something like this happening sooner. The last element of these pieces is most obvious in the colors used in the paintings. While there is a lot of darkness in the works there’s also a lot of warm, bright splashes of color that are meant to represent optimism towards the future and towards Society eventually fully adapting and overcoming our current situations.
Buckham Gallery is funded by the following organizations:
Generous support is provided by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.
Our activities are sponsored in part by an award from the MICHIGAN COUNCIL FOR ARTS AND CULTURAL AFFAIRS and the NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS.
This program is sponsored by the Greater Flint Arts Council Share Art Genesee Grant Program made possible by the Genesee County Arts Education and Cultural Millage funds. Your tax dollars are at work!