Tyler Spurgeon: Deficient
EFFECTS OF SOCIETAL PRESSURE SUBJECT OF ART SHOW
SALT LAKE CITY (August 15, 2011) - In the latest exhibition at Nox Contemporary, artist Tyler Spurgeon explores what he terms "our societally imposed sense of inadequacy." With works emphasizing the pressures and insecurities inherent in modern societal existence, Spurgeon poses the question: Who or what determines the individual's value? The resulting exhibit, entitled "Deficient," opens with a public reception Friday, Sept. 16 from 6-9 p.m.
"Our society constantly engages in a sort of soft violence in which we reduce individuals to their most basic component of value. Often this is the body, but it can take other forms as well," Spurgeon said. "My work is a visceral reaction to that violence."
Spurgeon wages a two-pronged visual and thematic attack on the subject of deficiency, using the motifs of hanging meat and abstracted human forms as his visual vocabulary. For Spurgeon, meat is representative of external or physical valuation - it's "the consumption of one being by another for the purpose of gaining power or pleasure."
The countering works take the concept of deficiency beyond the physical, with abstracted figures serving as manifestations of individual anxiety in response to societal pressure and measurement standards. Single and dual forms appear in the large-scale oil paintings, in a state of tension with each other and their environment. Bodies merge with the background often obliterating parts of the figure, leaving the viewer to determine where the figure ends and the external environment begins.
Spurgeon's work has been shown across the United States in cities including Seattle, Chicago and New York with pieces included in private collections across the country. Spurgeon received his bachelor's degree in fine art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is pursuing a master's degree in fine art from the University of Utah. He currently lives and works in Salt Lake City.
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