Gallery Hijinks is proud to present Alchemist, an exhibition of paintings and manipulated portraiture by Oakland based artist, Scott Greenwalt. This most recent collection of works showcases figurative and literal exploration of the unseen moments of transmutation. Please join us for the opening reception on November 12th, 2011, from 6-10pm.
Alchemist depicts the abstracted nature of change, a metamorphosis, seemingly slowed down, broken apart, and frozen in the exact moment before everything unifies to resemble something familiar. Greenwalt’s grotesque paintings draw upon theories similar to the medieval sciences of alchemy, which attempt to realize the concepts of constant transformation, decay, and mutation of all elements that encompass life.
Grounded in traditional formats of landscape and portraiture, the artist creates large-scale acrylic paintings on canvas and wood panel. The dark rich color fields in which Greenwalt’s portraits exist serve to eliminate the context from which they manifested, as if floating within a void. Red drapery hangs from the unrecognizable forms, obscuring their unknown physical state. Vast landscapes are swarmed by alchemical and supernatural phenomenon. Coinciding with the paintings, the artist experiments with prints of iconic portraiture, using viscous semi-transparent adhesives to distort and disguise the human face beyond recognition.
Inspired by the great works of Francis Bacon, Hieronymus Bosch, and Chuck Close the artist professes “I am faced with the challenge of abstracting something that didn’t exist yet. Rather than breaking down the existing image into abstract units, I am trying to herd disparate abstract units into an understandable, yet alien image.” Growing up watching 1980’s sci-fi and horror films was an obvious influence on the artist’s overall aesthetic, citing the work done by special effects make-up artist Rob Bottin on John Carpenter’s ‘The Thing’ as the single greatest influence on Greenwalt’s perspective.