Heart, Mirror, Crown
Inevitably the question arises: But what exactly am I looking at? It feels like a painting. But it looks like a collage. And I can’t see a horizon so it must be abstract. Was there a sculpture involved? So that makes it photography? Well then isn’t that more like Bruce Nauman’s photograph of himself making a fountain with his mouth: A document of the artist’s work? Oh now I see it, it’s Holbein’s skull floating around among The Ambassadors
It is also hallucination. And an inverted one-point perspective drawing that carefully traces itself invisible. And an attempt to make an idea, or an ideal, take physical form, stand in one place and be looked at. It is a lot of things that got thrown out, trashed, brought back from the dead, idiosyncratically arranged and given a chance to be something they weren’t the first time. It is trying to get to the bottom of something. Like cutting into an onion just to find even more onion.
Very practically, it is almost all found material. Things I find or that people give to me because they know I like to find things and put them together in the studio. And paint, and a lot of screws, and glues and whatever else I can get my hands on to make the thing stick together and work. I like to tell people ‘all tools are tools for art.’ And art, for me, is about decisions. And I like found material because those materials make some of the decisions for me. And they are decisions I couldn’t or wouldn’t make on my own with just paint, or just a camera, or just whatever. And welcoming the unanticipated into my work makes me have to learn new ways of decision making and makes me have to assimilate objects, textures, words, colors, shapes, depths, shifts of focus, interruptions, negations and additions into my thinking that I otherwise might not. It is factory and fuel.
The heart is in the middle. That is where I wanted to start, right after finding a piece of
weathered wood with a heart shape already painted on it. The mirror is round and mostly blocked by paint and other objects. But the parts that are visible reflect different points of view of the sculpture. Views the unaided camera wouldn’t allow. The crown is in the bottom left corner, broken in half, obscured by reflection and paint, and flattened out like everything else in the frame. - QG
Quinn Gorbutt is an interdisciplinary artist who lives and works in New York City. He was born in Arlington, TX and grew up around Washington, D.C. where he played music, rode a skateboard and was first introduced to drawing, painting, graffiti, photography and art. About ten years after getting kicked out of high-school he quit his retail career to pursue art and an education. He attended the Norfolk Summer School of Art and Music, Norfolk, CT in 2011, received a BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston in 2012 and an MFA from Yale University School of Art, New Haven, CT in 2015. Since then his work has been shown and collected around the globe.
During a three week artist-in-residence at Room 68 this March, Gorbutt creating a sculpture that accompanies the photographs in this exhibition. In addition to the sculpture being present to help tell the story and process of this work, we have collaborated with Kaleido to give the viewer an AR experience that allows you to explore each photograph with an app on your phone.
On view through mid June at Room 68 Provincetown.