Amanda Love’s new art space in Newark is home to David Butler’s collages
More:After many years and thousands of books, Amanda Love presents ‘Word Matter’ sculpture Butler’s large-scale collages, many adorned with gold leaf, blend perfectly with the historic building’s high ceilings , brass chandeliers and gold crown molding ornaments. The solo exhibit arrives in Newark after a six-week stint in Dayton and features 21 collages and a dozen sculptures that incorporate everything from Butler’s love of Renaissance paintings to his penchant for street art and flyers. punk rock. All of the work took place during the pandemic, when his commercial work began to dry up, providing an unexpectedly extended period of time for Butler to focus on his own art.
“A lot of it came from anxiety about things going on and having a lot of time to look within. Before, it was like ‘Hurry up, hurry up, hurry up !Do your job!’ And then all of a sudden you find yourself with yourself,” Butler said. “So when COVID hit, I found myself in my head a lot. … is very introspective. people reflect on their relationship with themselves, not necessarily with others.”It’s a theme that runs through a lot of my pieces – the letting go of control,” said Butler, who became obsessed with religious storytelling and the mythology at a young age. “Mythology has had a very positive impact on my life. I like to go back to some of those stories that are kind of lost in the modern world. … Everything I do is based on mannerism, allegory and anthropomorphism.
Indeed, large pieces like “Kali” and “Rati” look more like paintings than an assemblage of images from a screen. “Because of their size, they almost feel like they’re on velvet or something because of the way the texture is manipulated,” said Butler, who named the pieces after the goddesses. Hindus who inspired them. Kali, depicted with a skull face and the armor of an ancient warrior, stands amidst the cosmos holding weapons and an opaque hourglass containing an unknown amount of sand – a reference to the apocalyptic goddess’ time control. Kali knows when death will come; We dont do. Similar themes of life, death, and divinity surface in the side-by-side pairing of “Gravitas Fidei” (“Gravity of Belief”) and “When God Whispers,” both of which feature embellishments a la gold leaf applied after printing. Rather than referring to specific deities, Butler sees the two pieces more as a visual study of “the god within you”. Most collages, in fact, are based on “how we look at ourselves and how we behave in complex situations with complex emotions,” he said.
“Like any collage artist, you start with all your raw material. I just store them digitally in files. And then I start building,” Butler said. “I never want anything to look like it came from a computer. I don’t want it to sound like the technology drove the idea or the technology drove the technique. There are years, Butler, a CCAD graduate, used traditional collage methods, layering materials with adhesive, but when a project for Cirque du Soleil required a high-resolution digital product, Butler began experimenting with working collage on his computer, and now his found objects come from the internet.
“I have a rocking chair with a bird feeder right in front of one of the windows, and I’ll just sit in the rocking chair and focus on the birds,” he said. “It’s the idea, when everything around you is chaotic, to focus on one thing – calm your mind and meditate.” Many of Butler’s collages incorporate the female form, depicting everything from lust and pleasure (“Rati,” “Cardboard Halo”) to elegance and charm (“Nude with Gun”). Natural beauty takes center stage in “But for My Butterfly,” which takes its name from the lyrics of a song by Butler’s band the Black Owls; in it, a woman directs her gaze at a nearby winged creature — an act Butler has found himself engaging in more often during the pandemic.
The natural world often pops up in surprising ways in Butler’s work. Bugs, in particular, are a common feature. A colorful beetle can adorn a woman’s forehead in a way that aims to complement rather than detract from her beauty. Elsewhere, in “Of Animals and Men,” a rhinoceros is dwarfed by a large insect. “I like to take big things and make them small and take small things and make them big,” Butler said. “There’s a lot of beauty in things that are really small.” The “Gravity” sculptures are easy to overlook in a show with so many huge pieces full of eye-catching imagery, but they come from a similar place. Butler scours flea markets and his Granville estate for anything that catches his eye, then assembles them into primitive, fantastical anthropomorphs. In Butler’s hands, these found objects – whether digital or tangible – combine to form something entirely new.
News Highlights Space
- Title: Amanda Love’s new art space in Newark houses David Butler’s collages
- Check out all the news and articles from space news updates.