Bryant Girsch, MFA 2016

Thesis Exhibition: March 30 – April 2, 2016

Reception: Friday, April 1, 6 – 8pm

Hours: Wednesday – Saturday, 11am – 6pm

Dead Lions, 2015
Oil on canvas, 64” x 52”

painting with tropical flower design on top of more formal flower design
Cooked, 2016
Oil on canvas, 48” x 36”

In my artwork I utilize historical narratives and visual references to address Western cultural identity and its relation to nature. Western culture is predicated on a complex history of colonialism and global exploration. The resulting cultural exchange of aesthetic influences signifies the fluctuating identity that our on which our culture rests. By contrasting representations of nature from 18th and 19th century Europe alongside conflicting depictions of natural subjects suggest the navigation of both space and time simultaneously. Using specific accounts of significant international events of this time allows me to explore different modes of representation. This body of work explores this psychological space in an attempt to reevaluate Western identity. The investment in global exploration alludes to a desire to rationalize nature in the face of rising industrialism and global competition. This cultural atmosphere still lingers in literary archetypes, political policy, and contemporary art. By curating specific historical narratives I am engaging a present identity that is constantly attempting to negotiate its place and function.

All images courtesy the artist.