These images, whether executed with graphite or paint, on paper or panel, are “drawings” in that the various forms and figures are found imagery, the result of continuously evolving possibilities seeking to transcend predictable or deterministic outcomes. Metaphorically similar to fishing or farming, a drawing is simply a surface from which imagery is extracted. For myself, a drawing is the abstract mind externalized.
From Old Norse, “drawing” refers to the revelation of something once concealed. We draw water from a well, draw blood from a vein; or draw a knife from a sheath. Drawing thus contains the now familiar idea of “uploading”, exemplified in the way a draftsman ‘draws up’ visual ideas. Like masters before me, I am midwife to forms as they arise from within the conceptual womb of pictorial space.
My figures directly and indirectly reference this era’s recorded wealth of culturally mediated figuration – from master drawings to stuffed animals, from anatomical illustrations to animistic tribal effigies. In cyclic processes of forming, deforming, and reforming, I appreciate the role of growth and decay in Creativity and reflect on the irrational experience of numinous receptivity in a mechanistic world.
Mark Greenwalt, 2014
Mutating through multiple cycles of growth and decay, my figures originate from drawing surfaces in which imagery is repeatedly formed, deformed, and reformed.
Similar to human bodies in nature, these human-like forms demand unique apophenic considerations, and like all figurative art, expose our own ideals, prejudices, and curiosity.
Awash in the imagery of a new digital era, we experience a vast array of figures whose formal and symbolic diversity rival the genetic morphology of hominins. Recogizing an awareness of old-master drawings, action figure toys, animated cartoons, scientific illustrations, stuffed animals, tribal masks, dolls, abstract figurative painting, fashion photography, tin-types, and science-fiction films, I further contribute to these hosts, whose memetic anatomy is entirely dependent on their mediated realities of shape and line.
The figures in my drawings are trapped within the surfaces of their origin, rendered incommunicado on a picture plane that is both womb and prison. They don’t speak, they can’t walk, and never breathe. Their symolic function is reflective only in the metapphysical presence of true human perceivers.
These figure are the unpredictable products of an evolving design process, enticing speculation while denying communication.
Mark Greenwalt, 2015