Location: Scottsdale, AZ, United States
Completion date: 2022
John Randall Nelson
Nelson Public Art
Curious and Fanciful Creatures: Real and Imagined, includes over a dozen paintings in varying sizes and two large scale sculptures that reference imagined creatures and anthropomorphic wildlife.
Exhibition Dates: April 7th - May 16th, 2022
Nelson, as a nationally exhibited artist of over 20 years, has a long standing reputation for his honed development of urban-neo-folk figures and symbols. One consequence of his persistent idiom has been a shift in the focus of the work, from narratives to enigmatic associations. The visual storyteller has evolved into an eclectic collector of visual associations and psychological dislocations. Both comic and menacing, smart and dumb, Nelson’s array of artworks revel in materiality. The paintings are thick with poured pigment, saturated washes and worked with layers of drawing and collage. The work’s strength lies in the terrain between the narrative and the abstract, between what is immediately accessible and what remains obscure. Bluntly rendered, the work is textured with ghostly pentimenti, the hint of submerged words bleeding through a milky layered ground. Nelson’s narrative is a decidedly idiosyncratic slant on contemporary culture and a unique psychological take on human nature. Though more conjured that real, these curious beasts, like the terrors of childhood, have less to do with monsters than the shifting role of the subconscious self.