Pushed By Golden Shovels – photomontage © 2019 – Howard Faxon
This is one of my latest works that are extensions, or afterthoughts, to my series “Predatory Metal Cats”. It is a photomontage consisting of elements from my personal photographs. Personally finding and shooting the photos that I need to make these works is an essential part of my process of making these images.
There is an old dilemma that artists face when commenting on the contemporary world through their art. The goal of the artist is not to simply echo the cacophony of chaos and confusion that they see around them. There needs to be more – something that moves the spirit or inspires the mind of the viewers. Art is better than a mere mirror if it can touch the spirit or incite new interpretive awareness of the world that the artist perceives.
Artworks throughout the history of visual art have portrayed and interpreted contemporary events. There are numerous examples of art that documents powerful ideas about the world that the makers saw unfolding before them. Among infinite examples are Goya, Picasso, and Warhol. Everyone is sure to be able to recall works by these three that have become indelible images commenting on the state and evolution of western society. The world of today is no different and begs artists to look at, to comment on, and perhaps change in some small way what they see.
Having said all this, I feel I may be walking a thin line with these works. Perhaps I am belaboring the obvious or flogging a dead horse. I am no Goya and my work is not “El tres de mayo de 1808 en Madrid” (“The Third of May 1808”). Likewise, I am no Picasso and this is not “Guernica”. I certainly don’t rate “Campbell’s Soup Cans” either. No, these are not epic works I am making; but, I am aware that they may need to be more. I feel I have a responsibility to myself to question why I am making stuff. And yet I feel compelled to make them.
© 2019 – Howard Faxon