Solitude: The Story Behind The Art
July 06, 2012
This blog is to share the story behind a series of artworks that is probably my favorite works I have ever created. It has been a dream come true in a way. To me its an ideal piece of art for the basic reason that it causes the viewer to have a emotional response. Either negatively or positively, everyone reacts to these artworks. If we, as artist, do not create a sense of emotional response to our artwork then I believe we have failed our goal as artist. If we do not strike some kind of emotional response then why should we even take the time create the piece any way?
"Solitude" began as a simple artwork based on a still life that we had in my senior high school AP art class which turned into what some people have called a " obsession". I had no idea that nearly ten years later I would find myself still working with the same bodies of work. To this day this whole series is still evolving. So to some people the obsession continues. I have been told that I'm "sick" , " in need of therapy". But I swear to you that I am fine. As some have said these things, I have also been told that these are beautiful. I agree these images have a dark, eerie, morbid, or macabre feel to them. But maybe that's what I was going for. I will admit that I went darker with the subject matter at hand than I first planned. But I believe that the results have been worth it.
Back to the origins of the creation of theses pieces. Like I said this started as part of a still life composed by my high School art teacher Mr. Robert Duncan. He found this doll while conducting a search for a missing little girl after a flood. They were out searching for the girl when Duncan saw an arm sticking up in the mud. They rush over and grab the arm and pull it out of the mud. Imagine their reaction when they realized they were holding a doll. Of course it wasn't what they were searching for, but Duncan being the art minded guy he is thought it would make a nice art work. I think this background story helps build on the eerie feel to the artworks I created with this old mud filled doll. Mr. Duncan brought the doll back with him to the art room and placed it in an old wooden barrel we already had in the art room and used it as a center piece to an already existing still life. We were to create several drawing based on the still life. And that's where the ideas started flowing in my mind for what it could be become.
Back in the art room of Spencer County Art room Filled with all those spooky kids this doll became a trademark in a way. I remember my senior year annual art show really well. This series won me first place in the black and white category. I loved being around my display while the whole school and members of the community came through and viewed my work. The looks on their faces were priceless. I would stand there and watch their eyes scroll across the artwork hanging there. They would be enjoying the landscapes, drawing, and various photographs. Then unsuspectingly be staring at a 8x10 of the solitude series. I always loved the art shows we put on every year there. For a few days of the school year I was the "popular guy". Seemed like everyone was always looking forward to my work. But the senior year art show was the best. It was the first time that my parents seemed to care about my art. They saw my art as a waste of time. But that Saturday was different. I have used this series of work for several projects over the years. I submitted this piece to a contest for child abuse. The results from which came back not really surprising. " Thank you Aaron for your submission to our contest, however your artwork is too dark and disturbing for our viewers of our contest." I was not surprised to cause controversy but was a little shocked that they would not let me enter this piece in their contest. I am sure It will find its welcomed place sometime or another. That just means that this journey isn't over, and I look forward to seeing where we go from here...