Saturday, May 26, 2007

The spirit of the dialogue

Elements Floating, 2007, acrylic on mixed media, 27.5" x 24"

INNERSPACES: The Art of Rufus Snoddy
Exhibition and Sale at Gallery Fifty, Traverse City, Michigan
June 2 - July 12, 2007

Living in these times, one faces a difficult proposition trying to stay connected to nature. We are being so constantly bombarded by technological innovation. More and more glass, asphalt and concrete make for less and less access to green places in our living environments. I am not sure how consciously aware we are of the affects this has on our collective psyche. Personally, I find it more difficult to be in touch with physical survival instincts. Seemingly, for every natural urge there is a technological device designed to quell it by creating convenience or make it a step removed from significant physical activity. We call this progress.

“Innerspaces” make reference to the longing of my inner instincts to connect with the soul of survival of my ancestors and other indigenous peoples. Symbolically, I reflect texturally how this connection is made on a cellular level. The materials and images are selected and collected intuitively from unconscious internal conversational responses to my environment. These conversations, as always, include the ever present critic, or the “critical eyes,” as we live in times where everything must be objectified. It must be categorized, quantified and qualified. I experience this objectification process as a bold move away from our survival nature and the inherent nature of survival, toward a world of rampant consumerism. There seems to be an obsession with vanity and its creations. Much the same question I asked as a child, “Where are we going and why are we going there?”

Why is natural beauty not good enough?

Landscape Green, 2006, acrylic, oil, collage, 36" x 30"

Beginning my career as a sculptor, many years ago, I didn’t have the resources to set up a welding shop. This forced me to find a more practical approach to the art making process, one that encompassed sculptural sensibilities, of softer, more malleable forms. Having completed graduate work in kinetic sculpture, I had an acute affinity with the Constructivists. Painting was the most obvious nexus, though I had an aversion to picture-making. However, I pushed myself to make pictures. Having spent time in design and illustration, my first serious work was photo-realism. Unsatisfied, my pursuit of non-figurative painting began and lasted for five years or so. During this time I began adding sculptural elements to my work, which continues today. My natural proclivity was to treat my paintings as sculptures, which I decided to embrace. I saw these works as painted constructions or “Construction Paintings”, painting as object, much akin to Frank Stella, Elizabeth Murray, John Okulik and artists with similar approaches. The melding of painting and sculpture challenges and fulfill my aesthetic desire to connect with the spirits of my ancestors and other indigenous artists.

Visceral Future, 2007, acrylic on mixed media, 60" x 48"

Texture is very important to me. From a sculptor’s sensibility, I build textures and surfaces to stress expressive illusion of color and space, treating a painting as object with the intent to obliterate the line between painting and sculpture. I search for origins that exist in genetic memory. This search is motivated by a hunger for structural and formal content. As an expression of faith, a supernatural vision, I place my trust in the spirit of my Ancestors to guide instinctual conceptual choices and material usage, with the hope to speak voices without words.

Landscape Blue, 2006, acrylic and mixed media, 36" x 30"