20th Century: Drawings by Curtis A. Guy
Opening: January 4 6:00-9:00PM | INVITE
On View January 4 – January 27
Gallery Hours: Fridays 5:30-7:30PM, during events and by appointment.
I have always enjoyed looking through books depicting images of the 20th century, a few hundred images showing what the editors think were the highlights of the past century. The themes are always the same: War, sports, hollywood, tragedy and other acts of violence. And when skimming through these books two lines of thought always run through my mind. The first: is anything different and are we better off now? Each image reminds me of something that is happening currently. Vietnam//Syria, Ethiopia//Yemen, Ali//Kaepernick. This exhibition explores the question; are these images solid points in history represented by the solid geometric bars or the threads of life represented by the lines within the images, that will always run through humanity? The second thought: are these commonly found images how future generations will base their opinions of the 20th century and how has the change in technology going to affect how future generations see the 21st century? With images stored on electronic devices, the cloud and social media websites, will they survive? With most people having access to cameras in their pockets will the common person’s narrative carry more weight? Is it possible that the social media sites that host many of these images will influence the narrative in the future? That last one may be a bit Orwellian but it will be interesting to see how new technology will be used to depict what it was like to live in the 21st century as the camera did in the 20th century and how these images will be presented to future generations.
About the Process: With the exception of my Muji .38mm pens, everything else in this work consists of found items. This includes everything from the frames to the glue used attach the images. This was done for several reasons. All of the images used were found in discarded books depicting famous moments from the 20th century. These are the type of books others may stumble upon in second hand stores and use to reflect upon the 20th century. So it made more sense to use found images then to pick what images I wanted and have them printed. Another reason to use found items is to reduce consumption and limit the overall carbon footprint per say. Most often it is easier and faster to buy new but with a bit more effort it is often not necessary. This is why you will notice differences in the type of paper or in the frames. Often times people assume found or DIY means thrown together or poorly done, when all it should mean is “I didn’t pay a professional to do this for me”. This is a continuation of the theme from my last exhibition, 1,000 Drawings on Index Cards, that creation can be done with what is already around you.
Artist Bio: Curtis A. Guy is one of the core organizers at Sugar City where he has curated and organized numerous art/creator exhibits including Fun-a-Day, Artist Lottery and the Buffalo Zine Fair. Curtis A. Guy has had one previous solo exhibition, titled 1,000 Drawings on Index Cards which also played on the idea that creation can be done with common objects you are often surrounded by. They have also organized several happenings including Ride the Metro Round and Round, where participants rode the Buffalo subway experiencing art installations and performances along the way and in the stations.