Starting with layers of Finnish birch plywood artist Ron Isaacs builds elaborately designed constructions onto which he paints, in a trompe l’oeil fashion, the delicate details of leaves sprouting from clothing or the textured surface of twigs and bark. Each piece merges three recurring subjects found in most of his works: vintage clothing, plant materials, and found objects. Isaacs shares via his artist statement:
My three primary recurring subjects are vintage clothing (for the way it continues the life of the past into the present, for its rich structures and colors and shapes, and for its anthropomorphic presence as a stand-in for the figure); plant materials in the form of sticks, leaves, and flowers (for too many reasons to list); and found objects. They combine in appropriate or surprising juxtapositions, sometimes purely as a visual “poem” of sorts and (if I’m lucky) sometimes as an image with real psychological resonance. Objects occasionally reappear in other contexts and take on new meanings, like a repertory company of actors playing different roles in different plays.
Isaacs will have several new pieces on view at Snyderman-Works Gallery in Philadelphia starting May 2, 2014. You can also see more of his work over at Tory Folliard Gallery.
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