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.
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.