|Ember Gallery pan of Goin' Down by Paul Taylor Deaton|
Goin' Down went up during the month of August over at Ember Audio + Visual in Winston-Salem, NC. The body of work explores the good in evil. 13 new mixed media paintings and four illustrations debuted in this stellar venue. The new body of work contains numerous depictions of angels falling; mythological harpies and furies; and other necro-skinned people doing what they love.
To mix it up a bit I used pink as a reoccurring color (as seen in "Joining"). Pink is a happy tone. It's positive. It's pink. The artwork is loaded with juxtapositions -- and here we have a polite color to create scenes of falling into darkness -- and love of that fall. There are simple heart shapes added too. And the triangles are simplified horns. New devils get horns. It's in their contract.
More so -- it's a self-imposed visual challenge of sorts. How does one depict evil and darkness with a 'day-glo' color? How does one depict positive vibes amid concepts that are usually interpreted as deftly negative?
Also explored are the fibers of the descent. Many of the figures depicted don wings made of feathers. Harpies are Greek creatures made with bodies of birds; wings of birds or bats; sharp-ass talons; and sometimes hair of snakes. They have jobs that terrify mortals. How does one make a graceful depiction of a creature designed to be quite scary? I kept it soft, demure, and intergalactic-ly goddess-y in a piece titled "Escape Goat". But there's a snake in her natural hair. Fangs peak out of quiet lips. Her horns levitate. There might be a bat wing in the background mingling with heavenly stars in the front. Our elegant lady is framed in all this and boasts a feather-like camisole.
|"Escape Goat" is on the right.|
Subtle and ethereal. This is a harpy with stylized greek nose in covert mode or perhaps it's her day off. Maybe this is how the hideous always presents herself. And when she reveals her claws into your soul it's truly an unexpected, yet beautifully horrid moment. Mmmm, such a dreamy way to pull one's card.
Speaking of the task of pulling your card -- what about the fella that simply loves his job? If you love your job is it fathomable to smile while on the clock? That's positive too, right? If the sanitation worker smiles on collection day would you likely think he or she is having a good day and quite possibly possesses a perky perspective?
|Detail of "Enjoying Work"|
The Greek fury is a deity that takes out the trash too. According to the Greek mythology the furies would strike anyone from the earth who was exhibiting very bad behavior and remove them and/or torment them relentlessly.
The fury depicted in "Enjoying Work" is having a good day. It is his good day complete with bloody, deteriorating smile and flies of hearts circling his left hand (the evil side of the body). This creature is happy to pull your card and is smiling amid the task.
A big thank you to Ember Gallery for offering me this opportunity to share my creative musings with others. To those who have seen the show, thank you for giving it a go. The exhibition runs the month of August 2016.