I want your experience as the viewer to mimic mine as the artist: a still image should be moved to meaning by your mind. Though we all love perfection and fantasy, I would rather move your mind to an arena of truth. I do not mind if my work makes you uncomfortable, because it does not reflect the comfort of perfect people. I have found ideals of perfection to be a source of deep discontentment. There is, however, warmth in the humanization of subjects, and beauty in the prospect of binding the broken.
I want to compel you to look. No one who believes in truth can look at a perfect ideal and see their own reflection. I hope you can see beauty in the honest representation of human flaws. If you look inside the drawings, you might be able to see a part of yourself staring back at you in the narrative color. I really do not think there is room for an ideal projection of a human without flaws. People will always seek to forge a connection with a perfect world, yet perfection leaves people filled with nothingness, emptied by all things. If the art I make is to be honest, it needs to reflect the flaws in voided consumption and the beauty in spiritual consumption.
The subjects of my drawings are the sort of characters readers like to identity with in books. They do not pretend to be anything but human. They tell a commonly told story, in a visual way: power and perfection can fuel deception. When what seemingly matters fails, freedom is fueled. My pieces are surrounded by falling matter that has the power to make people feel soulless*. While matter is sold to mold the man and elevate him to success, I want to explore how matter also holds us captive. My art does not advertise or instruct; instead, I hope it allows people to see truth in themselves, and experience truth. My mind is not perfect and neither is the meaning it makes, but the human metanarrative is formed with flaws, and art should be an honest experience of redemptive beauty in the human story.
“So God said, in effect, “If that’s what you want, that’s what you get.” It wasn’t long before they were living in a pigpen, smeared with filth, filthy inside and out. And all this because they traded the true God for a fake god, and worshiped the god they made instead of the God who made them—the God we bless, the God who blesses us.” Romans 1:25 The Message (MSG)
“He saw very clearly how all his life led only to this moment and all after led to nowhere at all. He felt something cold and soulless enter him like another being and he imagined that it smiled malignly and he had no reason to believe that it would ever leave.” -Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses
Copyright © Ansley Guthrie. All rights reserved.