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Drawings Richard Metz


 

Read about "A Murder of Crows 2021"

 

Artist Statement A Murder of Crows 2021

Crows and Ravens are serious birds. Their cries, caws and cackles pierce the air, make humans cringe a little and take note. We wonder; what are they on about; what died? There is both a darkness and an omnipresence to crows in our lives.

The reality and myths of crows and ravens in our culture is so rich, as these corvids have followed the migrations of humans, for thousands of years. Crows in particular, fare much better closer to human settlements. Crows and ravens are deeply imbedded and revered in many mythologies and indigenous cultures as tricksters, agents of death, and intermediaries to other worlds. In reality they are extremely intelligent, sociable among themselves, and interactive with humans and our society.

These works are deliberately in grayscale. This is to emphasize the starkness of their black color. Monochromatic works allow me to focus more on storytelling. I wanted these works to strongly suggest a narrative, but allow the viewer to participate, by making the image suggestible to different outcomes. The works presented here are large scale, and rely on texture and dry brush to create movement and atmosphere. These images are veering more to the surreal side, the prophetic side, that so many indigenous tales have.

My work in the last 15 years has been focused on a deeper study of the natural world, and our connection as humans to it. These new works continue that, using these corvids as a new way to view nature.

 

About the drawings

My recent drawings and prints focus on humanoid creatures and animals moving and exploring terrain. The limitations and clarity of black and white with very limited color allow me to extend my imagination to both the characters and more creative picture structures. My drawings derive from my own pleasures; hiking, walking in my neighborhood, performing in public, and playing and watching music.

I want to acknowledge Paul Klee, Dr. Suess, and Jean Dubuffet as some of my favorite drawing artists. I am impressed by how each artist has not only created unique characters but has also wed them to a formal compositional idea. Their spaces and characters are inseparable.

One intention of the work is to transmit a dynamic, playful, humor. I am focused here on portraying different kinds of parades that relate to the Carnivale traditions and rituals around the world. These imaginative costumed public events display a creative cultural individuality. Philadelphia’s Mummers are so different from New Orleans’s strummers and Rio’s dancers. In the deadening public space of daily life in our capitalist marketplace, the Carnivale is a welcome burst of energy.

Richard Metz

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