Forest Graham

“The desert is my natural habitat. It made me. I consider the Mojave as the opposite extent of the desert Southwest, of which I grew up in, Santa Fe, New Mexico. In my experience, this region is a lesson of scale and continuum. It is a phenomenal space reduced and amplified at the same time. The light is bright, the sounds are soft. It is less and more at the same time. The self gets absorbed into that continuum and vanishes, but after a while it becomes amplified in it's isolation. The desert is a a weird duality, a profound contradiction.”

Forest Graham is an interdisciplinary artist working in painting, sculpture and sound. For the past eight years his work has centered largely around what is revealed by occlusion. This impulse began with an all out self-rebuke of his creative output, which compelled him to first destroy, and then make new by defacement the bulk of his archived work. This process of defacement has become a core strategy to his practice.

As this process evolved he found comfort in the promise of impending censorship. It freed him to make totally intuitive work that, while extremely nourishing, has nearly always failed as artwork for public consumption. This raw work is akin to a dance in front of a mirror naked, shout-singing into a hairbrush. The occlusion treatment acts as clothing, and etiquette. The process is an act of self awareness, a commitment to translate the raw stuff of what’s in here into a cogent signal. On rare occasion work is produced that is acceptable in its naked form, but it is a lucky few of us that have broad appeal without our clothes.

< prev | MSA AFFILIATE ARTISTS | next >