On Saturday, July 23rd, Kettle Art opens it’s doors for a one-of-a-kind event titled “Fractal Logic” & curated by local Dallas artist, George Fowler. We recently sat down with George via internet connection to talk briefly about the upcoming show.
Kettle – Just so everyone can get to know you a bit better, George, can you tell is a bit about yourself?
George – I am a self-taught metal sculptor born and raised on a cattle ranch in East Texas. Working with my hands from an early age, my professional experiences include working as a mechanic and machinist. A practical background in mechanical engineering tempered with an appreciation for beauty can be seen in much of my work. Two main themes in my sculptures are the synchronicity of disparate elements as well as the contrast of the idea of fleeting beauty in juxtaposition of the relative permanence that metal affords the sculptor.
Flora and fauna are prominent in my art as well as the human form. Wire and sheet metal are my primary materials as I enjoy the permanence of metal. Materials such as paper, wood, and found objects also find their way into my work to function as accent. The bulk of my pieces are created entirely using hand tools to cold pound delicate lines and forms into metal.
I have been working as a professional sculptor in Dallas for three years. My sculptures have been featured at Kettle Art, Studio Fling, Art Hotel, Sun to Moon Gallery and Jannett Kenedy Gallery as well as with the Dallas Nomads and Dallas Independent Arts Community. My work began attracting critical attention in 2008 with a solo show at Hal Samples Gallery. In August of 2009 I became a featured artist at Cameron Gallery and Ross Akard Gallery where I continue to show today.
Kettle – How long have you been in the Dallas art scene? In particular, how did you become involved with Kettle Art?
George – I have been working as a professional artist in Dallas for about five years. Kettle was the first gallery I ever showed work in. It was their first annual “Spring Cleaning” show.
Kettle – Why did you decide to curate a show at Kettle?
George – Kettle is a storied Deep Ellum institution founded on giving unknown and up and coming artists a chance to exhibit work. I have had a very positive relationship with Kettle from the beginning. They have helped myself as well as countless others launch their artistic careers. To this end I try to support Kettle as much as I can despite the fact that I am at a different point in my career. They asked me to do a solo show about six months ago and I accepted on the condition that I could instead curate a group show that included some of my favorite Kettle artists.
Kettle – The name of this show is “Fractal Logic.” Where did you get the name? How did you arrive at that title?
George – The word fractal means the quality of having the same pattern on every conceivable level or scale. I referenced logic in the title because I think most artist exhibit work based mostly on what they are interested in at the time rather than what will be appreciated by patrons. It seems only logical to me that certain price points and subject matter should be the focus of an artist wishing to sell work. All seven of the artists have created 6’x8′ murals that break into smaller individual pieces for sale. So it is fractal in the sense that the show as a whole, the murals, and each individual piece exhibits the same fractal purpose and logic in terms of sales. It is affordable art by underground Dallas artists on every level.
Kettle – What is this show about? What is its theme?
George – Each artist will create a large mural that when viewed from afar is one cohesive piece. In reality the mural will be made from at least a dozen smaller canvases, boards etc. hung edge to edge. The size of each small piece is up to the artist as long as the mural fits into the space allotted to each artist. Each of these small pieces should be able to stand alone as its own piece.
When people come in the gallery they see seven large murals. Upon closer inspection they realize they can buy one of the pieces that makes up the murals for between $20 and $400. When the customer removes even one piece it appears to be a piece in and of itself and the overall message of the mural remains.
Kettle – Where did you come up with the idea? What was your inspiration?
George – Kettle Art has a good exposure rate and reputation in the community and in greaterDallas. They regularly sell work in the $50-$500 range and all of the included artists have collectors interested in their work especially in this price range. The issue is that pieces in this price range tend to be small and underwhelming when seen as a whole gallery. We tend as artists to want to produce large visually striking pieces that often don’t sell for long periods of time. I had an idea that will incorporate the best of both worlds. My inspiration was both Kettle’s mission statement as well as the work of several artist friends of mine who are in the show.
Kettle – Who are the artists that are represented in this show & can you tell us a bit about each one?
George – They are in no particular order:
Hatziel Flores is a surreal/realistic acrylic painter with strong influences from graffiti and other underground culture.
Minji Watrous is a multi-faceted artist who works with wood, paint and resin to create beautiful but visually dark pieces.
Corey Godfrey is a fabric sculptor who uses primarily yarn to create vivid and surreal images on flat surfaces.
Richard Ross is a prolific illustrator who creates archetypes and technical methods unique to his creative world.
Lisa Lindholm is a primarily figurative oil painter who often uses distortion and emotion to great effect.
Aralyn McGregor is a mixed media painter who is quite skilled in creating atmospheric and figurative juxtaposition.
And myself, George Fowler, a metal sculptor who primarily uses wire and sheet metal to create metaphors with representational flora and fauna.
Kettle – Why did you choose them? What did they have in common (or not) that made you want them all in a show together?
George – You might say they all are surreal or mostly figurative but the bottom line in my decision was they are my favorite artists who have shown at Kettle. They are all extremely talented, hard working, and underrated which is what Kettle is always looking for in artists. I was interested in curation because it gives me a chance to manage and advise some of my favorite local artists. Without being a dictator, I wanted to use each of these artists like a specialized tool to preform a specific task for the overall show. I provided a series of guidelines for everyone and then worked with each individual artist to bring out what I felt would serve the show best. I could without question pick six other Kettle artists who could have done a great job as well, these six are simply my personal standouts.
Kettle – Describe what one can expect at the opening of this show.
George – I think it will be a sight to behold and a madhouse. Everyone likes large artistic pieces but few can afford them. Fractal Logic provides the former and solves the problem of the latter. This combined with the talent and local popularity of all seven artists should make for a very good show.
Kettle – Do you have any plans to curate a similar show in the future? If so, when & where?
George – I definitely would like to do another Fractal Logic show at Kettle or other venues and I am open to receiving offers from gallery owners. My goal is to make Fractal Logic shows a meme or theme that resonates fractaly in the macrocosm art world in the same way that this specific show resonates fractaly in the microcosm art setting of Kettle. The experience of curating my first show has been interesting. I have enjoyed the challenge of managing and coordinating not just my own work, but the work of several other creative individuals.
Kettle – Do you have any other shows coming up? (personal or otherwise)
George – I will be showing at the Affordable Art Fair in NYC in September and then doing a solo show at Ross Akard Gallery in November.
Kettle – Where else can one see the work of George Fowler?
At Ross Akard Gallery (www.rossakard.com)
on my website (www.georgefowlersculpture.com)
on my facebook account (http://www.facebook.com/people/George-Fowler/1358796653)
“Fractal Logic” opens Saturday, July 23rd, at 7:00pm at Kettle Art in Deep Ellum. The show runs through mid-August. Please come by and check out the opening in person. It is definitely a show you won’t want to miss!