Friday, March 16, 2012

Cross Sections

"The Silence Of Our Friends"
Arkansas-born comic book artist/illustrator Nate Powell who was drawn to comics at an early age, self-publishing his first collaborative book at 14. His breakthrough graphic novel Swallow Me Whole won the 2009 Eisner Award for Best Graphic Novel, 2008 and 2009 Ignatz Awards for Outstanding Artist and Outstanding Debut, and was named a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist for Young Adult Fiction—the only comic to be nominated in that category.

Nate's comments concerning his upcoming exhibit, "Cross Sections," at the Historic Arkansas Museum April 13 through June 3, 2012.

"These are slices of much longer narratives developed from 1998 to the present. Viewing long-form comic book work in a gallery setting has its difficulties—each story or graphic novel I create sits as a single body of work, but is also made of 200-300 individual pieces, each then comprised of 5 or 6 panels, all of which are intended to be absorbed as part of the larger body, but which must also hold their own, free of sequential context.

"With this exhibition, I present core samples from more than a dozen different projects over 14 years. The first period of work, from 1998 to about 2005, is defined by focus on failed communication, guilt, transience, and thinly-veiled desire. The second era, lasting until about 2008, is more focused on unassuming depictions of highly subjective experiences and characters, finally exploring dread, menace, selfishness, and loss of control. Works from 2009 to 2012 condense these questions, reintroducing them as more pointed narratives about Southern culture, shifting notions of identity, questionable legacies, and the threat of violence.

"Many of my narratives are ambiguous or open-ended, and some readers are uncomfortable with the absence of a clearly established viewpoint. I’m personally drawn most to stories that demand multiple visits, those that contain the strong possibility of multiple true perspectives, and those that respect an audience’s ability to explore those questions themselves. My work is increasingly defined by questions that invite (and require) the reader to meet me halfway, invest some of their own lives into the narrative, and emerge from a unique and immersive reading experience with questions and dialogue of their own." Read more here....
(c) 2012 - Ruth Mitchell - all rights reserved

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