1.21.2014

Travis McEwen











 











































































As a painter who often works from notional subjects, I am continuously exploring my own visual and emotional responses to ideas and conceptions surrounding otherness, exclusion and normalcy and how they intersect/interact with the ideas and constructs of gender and sexuality. I create and invent individual and isolated portrait subjects as a structure to exemplify and communicate the emotional psychology related to these ideas. These subjects are youths, people discovering themselves, people whose bodies are betraying them and becoming different without their consent. And yet these isolated subjects are already marked by sociality— the ungainly, fraught relationship of the self to itself here has been fashioned by its encounter with social pathologies. The inner experience of self-estrangement begins with the encounter with another. The paintings’ titles seek to restage this relationship between the external remark and the internalized insecurities and self-understandings of the subjects themselves. 
In as much as the work is physical, visceral and psychologically weighted, I am trying to create figures that exist in a landscape or universe where the fantasy of the perfectibility of the human body is met with the reality of ambiguity, imperfection and abnormality. My work does this by drawing upon the resources of uncertainty and fragility. 
My hope and goal is that my work engages the viewer in a complex emotional response, beginning with an immediate sense of intimacy and sympathy continuing through a deepening awareness of the beauty and fragility of the subject. My work itself up to this point has been characterized by an engagement with traditional methods of painting and image making. I engage the formal elements of constructing a compelling portrait —¬¬ size, colour and light, paint handling— to enable the conceptual source of the image to communicate itself to the viewer.


 Travis McEwen

 http://tjm.carbonmade.com/