Curator: The Screwed Arts Collective
Artists: Daniel Burnett, Christopher Burch, Stan Chisholm, Christopher Harris, Daniel Jefferson, Kris Mosby, Jason Spencer, Justin Tolentino, Bryan Walsh
Killer Napkins may seem like a strange nickname, but for Jason Spencer, artist in the exhibition Screwed Cubed at the Regional Arts Commission (RAC), it perfectly describes two important elements in his work. With a nod to his nickname, he says, “By combining the cute and horrific, I have created a body of edgy and unique work.” His interest in art includes not only sculpture and painting but also apparel design and illustration. Spencer is a member of The Screwed Arts Collective which produces the exhibition.
In 2010, a group of artists founded The Screwed Arts Collective which works with media ranging from painting, drawing, and illustration to music and video. Screwed Cubed, the third exhibition for the Collective at RAC, features a large-scale mural painted on plywood panels attached to the walls, and also several painted wooden cubes varying in size from four feet high to eight feet high. Influenced by graffiti and street art, as well as sign-painting, the Collective’s art develops through an improvisational and collaborative aspect. The artists paint late into the night, working next to and over each other. During the installation process, the Collective invites the public to view the process as it unfolds between June 28 and July 12.
Bryan Walsh, the exhibition’s informal curator (the Collective collaborates on all aspects of each show), says, “Our interaction with the public during the installation fulfills our mission of making art, and making it accessible to the masses.” Walsh is a founding member of the Collective and is also a 2012 graduate of RAC’s Community Arts Training (CAT) program.
One common thread that connects all of the artists in the Collective is an interest in culture and the human condition. Drawing from mythology, identity, and history, Christopher Burch uses grotesque imagery to evoke humor, empathy, and irony.
Like that of Burch, Stan Chisholm’s art comments on culture and emotion. He explains, “My work reveals a growing cast of more than 700 characters or mascots that serve as a visual lexicon for the moods, personal attributes, or feelings explored in my work.”
Daniel Burnett seeks out blue-collar or low-brow arts, such as graffiti and sign-painting, and incorporates the essence of these into his art.
Photographer Christopher Harris enjoys documenting other artists at work. Harris’ professional experiences are as varied as the pictures he takes: he is certified in K-12 art instruction and he earned a BFA in photography from UMSL after spending three years in the Army. The work of Ansel Adams, Jerry Uelsmann, and Edward Weston, among others, greatly influenced him.
“I bring my experience of counterculture to my work,” says Kris Mosby. He moves within the circles of street art, bicycle culture, hip-hop and punk music, and motorcycle culture. Mosby’s two- and three-dimensional artworks are comprised of conceptual, abstract, and surreal elements.
Daniel Jefferson’s art acts as a vehicle for self-expression, reflecting the condition of its creator’s inner world. “You can decide how much of yourself-good or bad-you want to share with those who view your work,” he explains.
Justin Tolentino encourages viewers to study his figures which embody humor, irony, goodness, truth, and comfort, aspects of the artist himself.
For more information about the artists and The Screwed Arts Collective, please see their website (http://www.screwedarts.com/), Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/SAC.STL), and Twitter account (https://twitter.com/ScrewedArts).
The completed installation of Screwed Cubed opens at RAC on Friday, July 12 from 6:00 – 9:00pm with DJ Mahf (http://www.djmahf.com/), and is free and open to the public. Curator and artists will give a gallery talk on Thursday, July 18 from 5:30 – 7:00pm. The exhibition runs through July 27.