Co-curated by Scott Hunt and Michael Foley
Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it. — Hannah Arendt
As a fine artist who makes narrative drawings, I frequently find myself being asked the same question about my work, “What’s the story behind this drawing; Tell me what’s going on here?” And to that I inevitably answer, “I’m not sure. Why don’t you tell me?” Usually what follows is a moment of readjustment as this person begins to shift from simply wanting a facile answer to spinning their own narrative tale for me. This turning of the tables is the jumping off point for You Tell Me, an exhibition of contemporary narrative art.
Wilding Cran Gallery is pleased to present Really? a group exhibition curated by Beth Rudin DeWoody featuring works in various media by both well-known and emerging artists who work in the field of contemporary realism to visually or conceptually challenge the viewer.
“I have always been fascinated with photo-realistic drawings and paintings, and trompe l’oeil sculptures—from artists such as Bronzino and Jean-Étienne Liotard, to the Flemish painters and today’s contemporary artists. The ability to create art that reflects reality in this way is a skill I admire so much, especially when the artist goes beyond the merely technical to incorporate more conceptual themes and their unique style of art-making.”
Beth Rudin DeWoody
The 2017 FID Prize, an award for excellence in the discipline of drawing, was awarded in January to Scott Hunt, along with nine other international artists. As part of the prize, each of the ten winners has been awarded three texts on his/her work by the jury, which includes Brett Littman (ED of the Drawing Center, NY), Andrew Solomon (National Book Award Winner), and Serghei Litvin (FID Founder). These brief, analytical and critical notes accompany the reproductions of the work in an online catalog (click here to view the catalog).
American artist Scott Hunt tops off our list, of course, with his meticulously crafted, melancholic drawings of urban loneliness and his vision of a dystopian America. If Edward Hopper, the grand master of American realism had been a drawer, this is probably what he would have done.
Scott Hunt’s drawings take inspiration from mysterious, uncomfortable, hilarious, and sad moments in amateur photography and give them new life. His work makes that old photo of your grandpa in stockings at the office Christmas party iconic.
Hunt, a figurative artist whose discipline is drawing (charcoal and pastel on paper). He has shown internationally, and his work is part of the permanent collection of the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. He is a recipient of a fellowship from N.Y.F.A. and a grant from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation. All images copyright the artist, all rights reserved.
My work draws heavily on the casual snapshot, both in imagery and sensibility. I’ve always been attracted to the aesthetic of snapshots; the felicitous mistakes that amateur photographers make (odd croppings, incorrect exposures) can often add unintended meaning. I’m also very aware that each of these photographs, having been separated from their original owners, contains a history that’s been lost to me. The inaccessible nature of these histories, or stories, has led me to a preoccupation with inventing my own narratives.
Buy Book HERE
In this collection of short stories for the Young Adult market, authors were asked to write a story inspired by one of a series of nine drawings. Each of the drawings was assigned to two different authors, yeilding two discreet and indivdual stories. The finished collection melds the 18 stories with the accompanying art.
The book explores the visual symbolism of art and attempts to show that the “meaning” of a work of art can be fluid, changing with each viewer’s individual reference points. It also investigates the creative process of fiction writers and discusses what it’s like to use collaboration as a way to stimulate creativity. Each author contributed an essay to the book in which they discussed the experience of using a work of art as a springboard for their fiction, providing aspiring young authors insight into the ways in which the imagination can be sparked.
Twice Told was voted one of the Top Ten Art Books of 2006 by the American Library Association. Booklist, in its starred review, said that Twice Told is “a refreshing departure from most thematic short story collections…the stories showcase very different responses to the art, and they cover a lot of thematic territory: racism, homosexuality, pedophilia, college, and family relationships.”