Margaret W. Fisher & Joseph L. Fisher Art Gallery
November 10, 2018 – January 13, 2019
Receptions: November 17th, 2018 2-4PM
Like many artists today, I use everyday materials as the starting point for my work. I enjoy the challenge of transforming something commonplace into a new object, keeping in mind the original purpose of the material when giving it new meaning. Although the materials I use are ordinary, I think they can make interesting statements about the world, human nature and us. With the new objects, I try to invoke a response by playing with scale and repetition, as well as with feelings of repulsion, intimacy and sometimes preciousness.
A lot of my works deals with issues that are serious or topics that I’m concerned about. In dealing with these issues, I prefer a subtle or humorous approach. Using the types of materials I do with the forms I give them, I want my work to serve as a catalyst to the viewer, to see the day-to-day activities in their lives in a different way. That is why, aside from using common everyday materials I also incorporate everyday actions in producing a piece such as stapling or stamping.
I’m also very drawn to the absurdity of things I see around me.
The crazy commutes we have to get to where we make money and survival for ourselves, the politics of where we work and how we destroy forested areas to build our homes and then replant trees in our own manicured sense of style. All these show up in the juxtapositions of things in my work: shirts with clear stick pins to mimic porcupine quills for the office worker seeking protective armor from his coworkers, or landscapes on bricks, with the landscapes turning the tables on a building material that usually alters the landscape. My inspiration does not come from the extraordinary but the everyday and the mundane where I find endless amounts of inspiration.
For the collages, I work on involving images lifted off newspaper with different types of tape and attached to canvas. Each piece usually consists of multiples of the same image repeated over and over. Each one of these pieces represents the accumulation of images one might acquire over time. I use the tape because the tape reminds me of memory. The tape lifts off an image in the same way memory lifts off an image or experience. Tape is also like memory in that it only lifts off part of the image and leaves some behind. It is similar that we don’t remember every detail of something we try to remember.
The shaped canvases suggest or hint at shapes that work with the accumulations of images and lend themselves to new meanings by the viewer.
Travis received his BFA from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN and his MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art, My. Royal School in Baltimore, MD. He has exhibited nationally and received numerous awards including Trawick Prize Finalist in 2013, 2011 and 200j8 Strauss Fellowship and was Sondheim Prize Fellowship Semifinalist in 2009 and 2010.
You can follow Travis on Instagram at @childers.travis and visit his website at https://travischilders.com