James A. Allen
Paintings and Drawings
The "Woods" paintings are small watercolor and acrylic works on illustration board. The images transport familiar actions or routines from their typical places of occurrence and locate them in the deep--and often dark and foreboding--woods. Athletes, for example, seem to be pursuing their respective games in a very unlikely setting. There is a resulting disjunction--at once humorous and unsettling--between the activity and its location. My interest in language will be evident in the deliberately punning quality of the titles. The words introduce an additional layer of response to the underlying aura of disorientation and threat that pervades much of the imagery. Words and images together offer multiple readings. Further, as the series develops some images begin to play upon precursors in a reflexive way. In some sense, all of my work, regardless of the series, concerns itself with the difficulty and the fascination of living in a world where contradictions and ambiguities often tinge our lives with an aura of absurdity.
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