Sam Vernon

Talking Figures,  2013, Mixed media, 8.5 x 11 inches

Talking Figures, 2013, Mixed media, 8.5 x 11 inches

I invent mental pictures from what I read and see and try to build a universe on a page out of it—starting with a drawing in pen and ink. I envision a scene, a moment, an environment, to describe. I build these drawings up, adding layers of line over time through an intuitive Xerox and collage process. A collection of images forms. The result is collaboration. Clusters and mounds of images that resemble a dark cloud, a congregation of bodies in a swamp, dancing, sleeping, weeping, haunt my dreams. I think of the leaves of willow trees swaying, rivers, forests, fields, and the spirit of an archetypal southern landscape in black and white. I hear drums and see black feet in rhythm to a song I myself have never sung or fell in movement to. I create ghosts to represent unknown ancestors in symbolic form. I draw patterns forming quilts and collapsing into lines and chaos. I want female figures to battle each other; I want these figures to fight the elements-- dust, sandstorms, wind, and water. I want spirits to assist them, winged creatures by their side. I want to picture a struggle.

View the artist's exhibition here.