Thursday, September 11, 2008

Wild Wood

“Blackbird, fly,” Lennon commanded his muse, “into the light of a dark black night.” Every so often, an artist confounds us with the power of paradox. For me, connecting with Edward Foley’s marvelous images on bent plywood, such as Luckyday, has little to do with the pleasantly simple, almost playful silhouette of a bird trotting along under a singular swath of rain. Rather, it has mostly to do with the incompatible ideas: a creature with wings choosing to walk; a bird in the rain not seeking shelter; an ironic but unambiguous tale told through such a warped and unconventional medium. The latter, in fact, may be the most effective contradiction of the bunch.

Considering the unusual play of light, shadow, movement, and infinite illusions created by a few veneered ripples of wood, I find myself wondering: Why aren’t more artists producing wall hangings like these? My other favorite from Foley’s collection, Wigglewood, its slashing vertical strokes suggestive of stripped, emaciated birch trees and a wildness that defies the temperance and balance of Japanese art, might answer that question. If every artist had a sculptor’s feel, a carpenter’s craftsmanship, an artist’s eye and a storyteller’s intuition, we would never appreciate what Foley has done.

View Edward Foley's work here.

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

What unique work!