649 Morgan Avenue #4B
Brooklyn, NY 11222
Shane McAdams is an artist and writer living in Brooklyn, NY
My work is about landscape in the broadest sense of the term. I grew up with the desert southwest as a backdrop. I was always surrounded by a crisp horizon under a big sky that was interruped only by sage brush and sandstone formations. I continued to be visually taken by this sculpted topography, and was amazed when my father told me how it was formed, that the layered strata of the rock formations were built from wind, water and rock. And I’ve remained amazed that the incremental and chaotic effects of time and climate could conspire to create something more structured and unique than I could with my own hands. My first creative engagements with this land were crude and clumsy: pulverizing sandstone into gravel with a hammer, digging into the cliff faces for clusters of turquoise and dredging the sand with a magnet for iron filings, eventually letting them rust into iron oxide patties in my dad’s dip tobacco cans. That land has continued to be a touchstone in my work, both as a symbol of process and as a source of content.
My current work reflects the dueling relationships between natural and synthetic forms – those that look like nature versus those that are nature. In my work such forms are often analogs or traces of the methods of their creation. They take root in the physical properties inherent within specific, mundane materials such as Elmer’s glue, correction fluid, ballpoint pen ink and resin, whose limits are stretched by subjecting them to non-traditional applications. This application generates structures whose complexity belies the simplicity of their creation. My processes reflect the physical forces that are constantly working to fashion and sculpt the natural landscape, and, by bracketing them with hand-rendered, “traditional” images of landscape, I hope to evoke the duality between the actual and the artificial and force the viewer to question what one considers to be “artificial” in a world where artifice is increasingly the norm and reality is the exception.
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