“As a series-based artist, I like to explore a theme, whether it is formal or conceptual, across many works of art over a period of time. This current series, Vigils of the Dead, was begun in 2014 and is my longest running series. I have always been in love with mythology and myth-making and wanted to build a body of work that dealt with both without being illustrative. The work needed to be open to interpretation and be abstract. A Zodiac sign, I realized, is exactly that: an abstract shape signifying a narrative. It is form and content. The same can be said of Painting itself. The overlap of the two can be pushed even farther in that both, the Zodiac and Painting, are systems for delivering information that now could be considered obsolete. The Zodiac is relegated to telling us what will happen during our day and Painting is no longer the way people understand the stories of the Bible.
Embedded within each piece is a Zodiac sign – not a picture of a bull or of a fish, but the positions of the stars. This is the challenge that each work presents: how to make an interesting and unique work of art while dealing with the same set of circumstances. The stars themselves are almost always represented by small Xs placed across the work. Sometimes the sign is obvious and appears to float above the image and other times it is deeply obscured by paint and collage. I allow the Zodiac sign to govern other aspects of my process as well. Choices regarding color are based on which color (or its opposite on the color wheel) is associated with that particular sign (Aries = red, etc.). I filter my choice of collage elements through the sign. If something is torn from an anatomy book, I make sure the body part is ruled by that particular sign.
I am not interested in astrology, but I am interested in an individual’s interpretation of the work. I think that every person has their own unique set of understandings, memories and feelings which cloud their reading of an artwork. Abstraction and collage feed into that. The viewer reconciles the gesture, the color and the scrap-of-paper-with-a-picture-of-a-girl-smiling into some new understanding of the painting. And each time they look at the painting, it can be different. That openness of interpretation has always driven my work.”
ARTIST BIOBACK TO GALLERY
Edward Holland lives and works in New York City. He received his BFA in painting from Syracuse University and a MA in studio art from New York University. His work has been shown in galleries nationwide, including Placeholder Gallery, Miami, FL; Causey Contemporary, New York, NY; Gallery 543 at URBN, Philadelphia, PA; Adah Rose Gallery, Kensington, MD; Northern Daughters, Vergennes, VT; Long-Sharp Gallery, Indianapolis, IN; MM Fine Art, Southampton, NY; and Gerald Peters Gallery, New York, NY and Santa Fe, NM. His work has been discussed in ArtZealous, The Huffington Post and in Eyes Towards the Dove, among others.