Art by Stephen Durkin
Having an audience is an important, and arguably, definitive aspect of any art piece. If a piece is meant to have an audience pulled from a population of strangers, then there must be something about its aesthetic that draws viewers. The goal is to engage the viewer using art, so they can then explore the themes and ideas being expressed by the piece (both those ideas they have interpreted, and those of which the artist meant to express).
In my attempt to attract a viewer, and illicit some immediate response, I will often use macabre or potentially shocking imagery. I feel that this not only secures the attention of a viewer but is also appropriate when the piece is an attempt to depict, and discuss, painful or controversial themes. However, while the imagery itself may be macabre, I work to present it in an aesthetically appealing manner. I seek to create some beauty in the macabre, or grotesque. I feel like this helps to keep viewers engaged after the initial, attention gaining shock.
“Montgomery College Student Art Show.” Sarah Silberman Art Gallery, Montgomery College. Rockville, MD. 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016
“Montgomery Art Association Members Show.” Friendship Heights Community Center. Friendship Heights, MD. 2016
“Sacred and Profane.” Arc Gallery and Studios. San Francisco, CA. 2016
“Divergent Ink.” Rubber City Prints. Akron, OH. 2017
“Emerging Artists.” Limner Gallery. Hudson, NY. 2018
“Natural and UnNatural Disasters.” Art Scene Today. Online, NY. 2018
“Still Life.” Bauhaus Prairie Art Gallery. Online, OK. 2018
“LIC Fear Returns.” The Plaxall Gallery. Long Island City, NY. 2018
“Black & White Etc.” Bauhaus Prairie Art Gallery. Online, OK. 2019