CALVIN WAGNER – EXOTIC FRUITS. Opening Thursday, September 13, 2018 6-9pm.

| September 12, 2018


Calvin Wagner: “With the use of everyday objects I combine the conventional subjects of still life painting with contradicting meaning and jest to expose an underlying web of absurdity that encompasses daily life. Most of the images created are reflections of human qualities intensified by a volatile, hierarchical, hysterical, divisive, and romanticized modern social climate, which can be seen as a whole, or in our very locale, Seattle. The extended series ”Exotic Fruits” has a common thread of dark backgrounds contrasted with bright and glowing colors, that look as if it is primordially lit from behind the canvas by an unknown source.
My use of pigeons was influenced by life in the city, seeing them on a daily basis. In the past they had considerable importance to humanity, especially in times of war. Pigeons are also extremely protective of their eggs, and in some cases will go to severe lengths to protect them, and even seek revenge on those who interfere with their process. They also look to the cities as home, a product of thousands of years of human domestication and interaction, a promising symbol for a look into our deep collective subconscious, desire, and behavior. I mostly paint them because of their bad and dirty reputation. After all a dove is just a bleached pigeon.
Parts of my work are generated from random, such as the tattoos decorating the fruit. I took from the Surrealists the ‘automatism’ technique to create words and images from states of near sleep or free drawing performed unconsciously or involuntarily. The correlations and meanings that come into being are very real. Only, I haven’t found out entirely what they are yet.”

About the artist
Calvin Wagner is a 28 year old self taught painter from Seattle. He has a BA in art history and philosophy from Evergreen State College, and planning his move to Barcelona for an atelier program in the Fall. Using old Dutch and Venetian methods, he blends realism and surrealism into a narrative of absurdity, angst, common dreams of the impossible, and hella spiritual shit. His work is often caught between “I understand” and “what the hell is going on that I missed before”.

Category: Art

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