Evan Robarts Essay

1207 words - 5 pages

Diatribes occupy a large chunk our scope in the living life of this new millennium. In a society transfixed on maintaining a vital root in both the visual world and the virtual, rants are gaining power. The power of the open letter can wipe a person’s public image clean. Just like that, one can crown themselves as an outcast from their past workings and convictions, removing the gravity of think pieces and banal podcasts hungry for signs of vulnerability. Opinion boards breed without second contemplation at this rate, with the virtual, prose trash-bins dating back to the early stirrings of the Internet. Self-validation is not an illness plaguing the modern world propped on hackneyed Western ...view middle of the document...

But then you start to see shimmers of promise: authentic and fiery work created by artists from all demographics. Work that makes you challenge your own awareness, your own slant on materials, process, and troubling thoughts on the art world. Not everyone is trying to push their personal brand to the point that it overshadows their own work. Not every artist is waiting for a flipped-art career and being sold to the highest bidder.

I met Miami Beach native, New York based artist Evan Robarts during the install for his group show at Ed. Varie Gallery in May 2013. Along side artists Tyler Healy and Dean Levin, the three produced one of the few shows I can still remember every piece from. The show was an inquiry on material for me, allowing the viewer to dig further than their accepted usage of material before them, a vital position needed for transformation. The three, who shared a studio in the Brooklyn Navy Yards at the time, began in process and experimentation and took the extra step of applying their own intimate message to each piece, a procedure forgotten by many hollow artists of today. Art cannot stop at process for every artist relies on it in their practice. So, it cannot be the only justification for the final product. There has to a little more to it.

Evan’s work speaks to a personal connection with process and material. When discussing in his studio not too long ago, we both agreed that the talk of “ready-made” goes straight out the window. It’s like stating that your work influences lie only in Marcel Duchamp. I think, at this point in art, most, if not, all Western artists take note from Duchamp or have learned about Duchamp. It is a given. I could jam this piece with Walter Benjamin quotes, art buzz words and relevant fine art references, but I believe it distracts from understanding and exploring Evan’s work. He danced between the mediums to a soft land in sculpture and with his acute manipulation of found objects, he continues to develop into an artist that revels in failure. One who does not go down in a fight and lets his materials cultivate and grow with him instead of forcing a happening. His earnest appreciation for uncanny symbols and blue-collar materials he uses in his work allows his pieces to gain a natural weight, without the need for theory to help it stand up. That is when big talk overcomes the art, in turn, bogging it down.

His usage of nostalgia is not a crutch, but another link...

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