These works have been a labor of love.
Just these ten small pieces took me over a year to make. Let me explain: within each of these drawings are at least six or seven other drawings. All layered on top of each other. Each drawing covering something, while simultaneously allowing an element underneath to come through. Each one is like a visual conversation, layered with such complexity that at times it’s difficult to tell which came first. They represent hours of drawing with my nose two inches from the surface, tracing and re-tracing my steps.
They are about change. About how we build our lives, layer by layer. About how each layer is vital, and permanent. Yet the image is malleable as we build new layers and integrate old ones. They are about time, and being finite. But they are also about beauty, and about becoming.
They have been cloistered in my apartment for nearly two years, making occasional appearances in open gallery nights. But this is the first time I have ever had the privilege of showing the whole body, with professional lighting and room to breathe. I’m excited.
These images are not the full compositions. They are simple detail shots of some of the more complex moments. And unfortunately, what is difficult to capture in film is that the primary medium is resin, which is a very shiny substance that reflects like glass. So if you can, imagine each layer with glass between, and then the surface so shiny you could see your reflection in it. And if you can’t imagine it and you live in North Carolina, well, I’d love to see you at the opening tonight.
The show will run from January 6–28, 2012 at
201 E. Davie St. Raleigh, NC 27601
Opening reception, January 6th, 6–10 pm.
If you have not been to Artspace before, it’s incredible. There are several galleries and dozens of studios with new work up, plus live music and refreshments. I am honored to show there, so come say hi!
I hope you enjoy the work as much as I enjoyed making it. Here is my artist statement which is my attempt to condense a thousand hours into a few paragraphs. Writing about art is a bit like making art about life….there are only so many layers before you have to chalk some of it up to mystery.
Artist Statement, January 2012Skyler McGee[im]permenanceThese small works are narratives of time, location and substance. They tell an ambiguous story of how we build our lives, layer by layer.Each piece is comprised of drawings sealed by a thick layer of varnish called resin. On top of that drawing is another drawing, sealed again with resin. Once sealed, the drawings are unchangeable. This building of images comprises works that are often six or seven layers thick. The artistic process mirrors the process of building a life, one layer at a time. As time passes we are able to observe our histories, both individual and corporate, but not alter them. With only the current layer to build upon, we become people of presence—integrating, making unity, binding disparate parts together, creating beauty.It is this dynamic that the work not only catalogs, but celebrates. It embraces the tenuous nature of creating purpose when human kind is fraught with the unknowable. Through capturing the complexity of how we layer our lives, it affirms the inherent value of the process. The layering of the pieces is an homage to the complex layering of human existence, of change, and the condition of being finite. [im]permenance stands at the apex of what is and what could be, hearkening to both, the beauty found in the strata of human choice.