"Landscapes! Romance, Recession, and Rottenness," work by Wardell Milan, is currently on view at Taxter and Spengemann Gallery. The New York-based Milan begins with found landscape and still life imagery, injecting them with political and sexual imagery. By mixing bodies of visual language and conflating collage and painterly techniques, Milan looks at the power relationships that hold together the image.
The show is on view through January 23.
Taxter and Spengemann is located at 123 East 12 Street, New York.
The floral print originates from a book of antique prints titled The Ladies Flower Garden of Ornamental Annuals, illustrated by Jane Webb Loudon. The floral print functions as an idyllic interpretation of nature. Carrying the ideas and sentiments that one may associate and expect from such imagery, (i.e. tranquility, beauty, and inspiration). These ideas are tainted by the inclusion of collage images taken from adult magazines. I view this inclusion as a collision. These explicit images, colliding and distributing an unruffled moment; turning a study of serenity - that visually, like the pornographic images is enticing; into an image of perversion.
My use of flowers and floral images originated several years ago in my photographic work. Often the flower served as a stand-in or representation for a loved one, or to pay tribute to a historical person or moment.
At the moment my opinion is that a still life of flowers and a landscape image both have a sense of exactitude, but are nothing more than an artist's interpretation of nature.
I use the botanical print like a canvas. Instead of adding gestural marks with pencil or colorful paint, I cut out and remove areas of the print, and replace these vacancies with pornographic images. Some areas of the collage are denser in layers than others. All of the pornographic images come from gay and straight adult magazines.
There's no relationship or comparison to the Rorschach inkblots. But I wouldn't mind hearing other people's psychological interpretation's of my botanical collages.
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