Scott Foxx Exhibition
March 10 - APril 15
The word ‘home’ conjures up a deeply personal connection to place and time, but can also refer to aspiration, or just an ephemeral feeling about a space. The sensation of ‘home’ doesn’t even require an actual structure. Special people often make us ‘feel at home’ merely by their presence. Moving out to the rural west of Georgia in 2017 I went through a re-defining of home, as we all do when arriving in a new place, both literal and figurative. The pandemic then deepened my relationship with that ‘home’ as only quarantine from something can. The search for a home-based connection inspired me to explore what I was seeing and feeling in painting, using a simple ‘shot-gun shack’ form to act as the central motif. These houses in my work exist as formalist foils to the organic textures but also as ambiguous surrogates for the body. They appear and disappear within a vast landscape that is composed like a stream of consciousness poem, reflecting the experience of the view of a landscape through a moving car’s window. Driving through rural west Georgia, or Southeastern Georgia for that matter, especially at dawn or dusk, I always feel a sense of suspended time as old houses, barns, fences, and abandoned chimneys emerge from the diffused light and fog. My modern car and sounds of technology break up the illusion of timelessness, but it remains, in the background, like a faded, paint chipped ‘Coca Cola’ ad on a buildings’ side.
My process is as much about making as it is un-making. Painting is a 2 and 3-dimensional medium for me, and I need it to reply when I make a gesture or apply a color. I never want to be too much in control because that would be in opposition to my subject of time and transient structures and the sensations they evoke together. Everything from junk mail to books, to one of my father’s old sketch pads, are torn to pieces and ‘consumed’ in the painting’s layers to build a patina of color and texture on the wood to be cut, painted and scraped away; I make a mess of the new surface and then I clean it up. Brand new and shiny bores me, if there isn’t some tarnish nearby, reminding it what it will one day become. But, if it’s going to be shiny, I’d prefer it to be crusted with glitter and while I like the reality of bare wood, I also like ‘fake’ wood that reminds me of the lengths people will go to, to simulate an ‘authentic’ feeling, or ‘luxury’ appearance.
Where I currently live, within an hour, I can either be in the metropolitan city of Atlanta, or, just as easily, the remote environs of a mad Outsider artist; as I get older, I prefer the madness of the Outsider more and more. Somehow the authentic imagery of a delusional folk artist is more comforting than rigid steel and concrete geometry. I also prefer the remote roads rising and falling between the endless stands of pine and pecan trees, to the dense, clogged arteries of the ‘beltway’; if I’m sitting in that much traffic for that long, the barbecue at the destination better be worth it. It is my hope that these images of places and structures communicate to you and that they feel familiar and alluring. I hope these works make you pause the next time you see a ‘ghost house’ out in a field, or a house shaped pile of kudzu, and that you share my appreciation for rust and tarnish.