I am exploring the differences between the hunter and hunted, and ultimately, what is sacred and what is disposable in our society. In this latest series in my body of work I am attempting to navigate a path for viewers to look back to simpler times. Maybe some illumination of the present can be found along the way.
Drawing has always been the immediate way I make art. Years of pointillism, with slow deliberate accumulation of detail, changed the way I think about constructing a piece. Representational works on paper with ink dots evolved into the ammunition of testosterone- fueled suburban youth, airsoft BBs. Tangible "monuments to the disposable" the pellets are arranged in shot- pattern abstractions and frozen in time.
Blowing up cheap plastic toy army men with firecrackers was a hallowed rite of passage among my young peers. We buried, burned, melted and destroyed these disposable men in routine play. What we were thinking and why were our imaginations so fully engaged? Why were we ultimately compelled to destroy these simple, inanimate miniature replicas? Why were they created and manufactured?
It is now 20+ years since that time and I am still wondering about that, as well as many other personal and societal compulsions we live with in our complex world. From that experience I have employed these now-haunted toys to suggest four personifications (the hunter, the hunted, sacred heroes and the disposable) simultaneously. By using epoxy and melted plastic I group the figures that are associated with childhood and nostalgia in a contemporary context that mirrors our adult attempts to conquer with limited loss.
I will always draw. But along the way I am compelled to find expression with other media in response to the world around me, as my inner world is stirred and inspired.
© 2013 John Monn