In The Wild West, a skeletal horse and human hybrid, suggesting our practices of genetic manipulation, serves as a grim tale of foreboding. The skeleton, the horse skull, and the desert are symbols of cowboys and typical Western imagery. Television Westerns would typically portray life as good vs. bad, when in reality, the land, environment, people, and animals were all seen as a means to an end. The title refers to how the U.S., itself a part of the western hemisphere, is still taking over land, animals, and resources to this day, creating desert landscapes via clear-cutting and global warming.
I’m happy to announce that I was recently interviewed by the Mother Nature Network for a feature on their site. Starre Vartan asked me about my work and the connection to animals and ecological welfare. Here is just a sample of what we discussed:
MNN: In Our Veins is dominated by horses, deer, bears, wolves, rabbits, cows and humans. Why these animals?
AG: I feel like a lot of these animals blur the line between what would be considered domestic and what would be considered wild. As more wild habitat is being encroached upon by new houses and shopping malls, these animals are being forced out of their homes and find themselves having to adapt to this new urban landscape. They are wild, yet at the same time, people either think of them as cute nomads or dangerous intruders, depending on the species.
I’ll use cows because I feel like they are the epitome of the agribusiness animal. They are used for meat, dairy, and leather, and it’s because of them that forests are cleared and “predatory” animals are killed — all for the sake of ranching.
As for incorporating humans, I do so to emphasize that we are all part of the animal kingdom. I’ll sometimes combine a human with another animal to illustrate that connection. Other times, I may just paint the human brain as a symbol of sentience and our moral obligation to the welfare of these animals.
I’m happy to announce that my painting, Preservation, is on the cover of the new EP by the band, Levees. The EP, Another Medicine, is out as of today. And if you are in New Orleans, be sure to check out Preservation in person while it is currently at LeMieux Galleries.
My work is currently featured in the new issue of APONIA Magazine. APONIA is a vegan fashion, art, and beauty magazine based out of Australia. Several paintings from my In Our Veins series are featured as well as a lovely write-up by Thara Vidyaratne. Thara writes, “...her ability to combine a high level of technical skill with the thorough conceptualisation of a philosopher, Guidry’s work creates surrealist images with the accuracy of photorealism.” The issue is currently available to read online at: https://issuu.com/aponiamagazine/docs/aponia_magazine_november_2016_final.
My work was recently published on the cover and inside The Journal literary magazine. My painting Vital is wrapped around the front and back cover while several other paintings from my In Our Veins series are inside. In addition, there is an interview in which I’d like to share just one of the questions because I think it’s an important one:
SS: Is there anything you can tell me about this work that someone who doesn’t have expertise might not see or appreciate?
AG: I think people need to realize this: they are much more astute when it comes to art than they give themselves credit for. True art will elicit an emotional response from someone, whether it’s a positive or negative reaction. For those that enjoy my work, they often tell me that something resonates with them. It may not be exactly what I expect the viewer to respond to, but it’s in the ballpark. There have been times when someone finds my work “dark” and therefore they are unsure of it. I would still consider that an accurate response because I deal with some tough issues in my work. Animals are beautiful, nature is beautiful, and I’m trying to create something that is beautiful but at the same time sends a message. Either way, I want to draw attention to these issues and inspire others to take action, even if it’s just small changes because every little bit helps. That’s the takeaway I hope for when anyone looks at my work, whether they have an art degree or not.
My painting Preservation is featured on the current cover of the Denver Quarterly. Aside from being on the cover, I’m also happy to have another opportunity to get the message out regarding animal and ecological welfare. The circle of leaves was an image that came to mind before falling asleep, and I made note of it in my sketchbook. Using the leaves to replace the head (which is in keeping with some recent paintings where I use landscapes or trees in place of heads), represents the connection of all life forms. Nature is so much a part of us that I freely use trees or landscapes in place of heads or limbs, just to emphasize that connection and significance.
The small lot of land the deer stands on is in reference to our dire need to conserve wild land and forests. The natural space is shrinking due to deforestation. All the more reason to plant trees and support organizations that preserve natural habitats.
In many of my paintings, I use the eyes and facial expressions of animals to convey a sense of connection and relatability, but lately I’ve been doing the opposite and feature animals without faces or covered faces. I’ve been exploring the idea of Anonymity vs. Connection- without seeing their faces, does that make them any less personable or meaningful? And how does this apply on a global scale?
I’m honored to announce that American Art Collector Magazine has done a feature on my current exhibition at LeMieux Galleries in New Orleans. The article is in their September 2016 issue which is available on newsstands now.
My painting Integral is featured in the current issue of Art Galleries & Artists of the South Magazine as part of the LeMieux Galleries spread. My 2-person show with photographer Lee Deigaard is coming up soon at LeMieux in New Orleans. Opening August 6th!