Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation
Art; Gorilla; Cuttlefish; Environment; Fable
History in art; Pastel drawing, American--21st century--Kentucky--Exhibitions; Civilization in art
The new work I have developed while pursuing my Masters in Art at the University of Louisville is strongly based on the narrative. I have always used the imagery in my work as social commentary. The stories and images I develop are to be viewed as a window on the world through my eyes, but for the first time I have focused on one clear concept. In this case, questioning how we developed from a group of hunter-gatherers scouring the land for survival, to modern consumers, destroying the world around us. In order to facilitate this narrative, I wrote a very short fable-like story entitled The Gorilla and the Cuttlefish, and then set about to illustrate it. Using chalk pastels, I cover the page with a lush variety of colors, patterns, and figures. I want fill every bit of the paper - moving the viewers' eye constantly around the page – but also creating a holistic composition, which allows the viewer see the complete story in each piece. My goal is to make the viewer look upon what at first seems like a fanciful and bizarre world, but with closer investigation find it is anything but. My work is to be seen as my personal viewpoint of history and modern life - how we as humans sprang from nothingness into the socially diverse creatures we are today; how our drive to conquer all around for the last 12,000 years has slowly destroyed our only source of life. I am not an environmentalist or activist, but rather a realist. I don't see myself as better than anyone else in the world, but I'm also an active participant in the very destruction I speak of. We have just come to a point in our culture where acceptance is the new norm, and ignorance is bliss. I feel as an artist it is my job to illustrate how apathy and man's superiority complex has led to unfortunate, but not unexpected, consequences.
Karl, Nick 1982-, "The gorilla and the cuttlefish." (2010). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 726.