B.A., The Evergreen State College, 2008
When I was at Evergreen, I developed an interest in contemporary art history, theory, and criticism. I got interested in it, both from an artistic standpoint and for literary enjoyment. After graduation I started writing short literary pieces for art galleries in Seattle, including at the former Crawl Space Gallery and at Seattle's Lawrimore Project. More recently, while teaching English in China, I've interviewed artists in the city of Chengdu, publishing articles online about their work. Some of them reside around a famous artists' community known as Hetang Yuese. The last guy I interviewed was an American, living in China on an artist residency. This has been a unique cross-cultural experience for me, as well as a creative awakening. The image below was taken with the Chengdu artist Tang Wugang, in his studio (standing in front of two huge canvases). I look forward to doing more writing for arts publications and to developing myself as an arts writer.
Latest Publication Title
An American Artist in Chengdu II: From Cave To Sky
Walking through the show you can observe Kerr’s layering of symbolism, and the mythological and astrological signs in his paintings. At times, gestures and figures seem to disappear and re-appear at a glance. The artist wants his whole process to be embedded and reflected in the content and philosophy of the work; because there is a fluid, narrative quality, images in “Cave to sky” often transform themselves before the viewer, literally morphing with the eye.
Two of the show’s most striking works, a pair that when placed together are titled “Cave,” may be arranged differently. Laid out horizontally, the bedrock of a cave dwelling can be seen; placed vertically and side-by-side, they make a man’s torso. A clever introduction to the imaginative shape-shifting in Kerr’s layered forms.
“The Prince Who Lost His Horse” reveals that same transformability and shape-shifting. The artist was propelled by his own struggle with unwanted adversity, trial and error, which then took on deep psychological significance as it was explored on canvas. The combined “Prince” and “Horse” are layered between shadowy, spectral forms of the archetypes, and are even revealed in a pair of monograph figures that seem to be a sort of metaphysical shorthand.
“Passive Analog Controls” - (Seattle, WA)- article to accompany the work of artist Derek Larson at Seattle’s Crawlspace Gallery, 2009
“Spite”- (Seattle, WA)- contribution to writers’ chapbook accompanying the work of four local artists at Seattle’s Lawrimore Project Gallery, Spitehouse, 2009
How did Evergreen help you in your career?
Evergreen inspired me to look at contemporary art in more thought-provoking, challenging ways. There was also a deep emphasis on sustainability and cross-cultural awareness in the curriculum. Through this I learned that the role of the artist is not just to give us a picture of the world as we already know it. Our role in the 21st century is to demand a different picture, and we should constantly be challenging and shaking the foundations of established knowledge. My job as an artist and writer is to re-conceptualize the world as a more connected place. This whole process of re-conceptualization begins fundamentally with what I create. So my job is to create something different.