“By questioning and altering our perceptions of beauty, these works open our minds to accept the nontraditional.” – Devan Horton
The closer we look at nature, the more it can seem alien to us. The word mushroom conjures up a simple shape, earthy in texture and pungent in aroma, with little or no color, yet Devan Horton’s paintings present a range of beauty and organic form far away from that cliché.
“Nature has always inspired my work in both concept and form, therefore the majority of my pieces are environmentally centered and are about naturally occurring phenomena and behaviors. With that said, the direction of my work has seen an evolution. Where the focus was once on live subjects such as swarms of animals, insects, and plants in order to portray an active idea, I slowly transitioned into making work about dead matter and elimination.”
Horton refers to her subject here as “dead matter,” yet there is such vibrant life in these images. However inert the reality, the artist’s viewpoint imbues the organic forms with the same living pulse that she explored in her previous work.
“Today, my work discusses themes of rebirth by portraying new life growing from the source of fallen trees. Pulchritudinous is a series of fungi paintings that displays the sheer variety of species and beautiful patterns that hail solely from our local area. Fungus has never been revered for being beautiful, but by taking a closer look at these magnificent recyclers, the viewer is forced to see the intricate patterns and wide spectrum of color that was there all along. Even the word Pulchritudinous is an ugly term at first sight, but quite literally means “something of great physical beauty”. By playing with techniques that make objects appear more attractive, all of my work revolves around a change in perspective by viewing that which we look at negatively in a new light.”
Horton currently has solo exhibition at Perennial Gallery, 625 Madison Ave, Covington, Kentucky, through August 20, 2017
Hometown: Covington, Kentucky
Education: BFA, Painting, Northern Kentucky University, 2016; while in school participated in a study abroad to Rome and Florence Italy.
Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.