We kickoff our 2018 exhibitions with “Impressive…Most Impressive” – A duo show featuring new work from Ted Lincoln and Adam Lister inspired by Star Wars – In particular the “Galactic Empire”. Characters, machines and environments throughout the “Empire” appear simultaneously sleek and rugged. This aesthetic provides great visuals to explore in a new context. Through their unique styles Ted Lincoln and Adam Lister will be transforming and highlighting iconic images of Darth Vader, Star Destroyers, Royal Guards, Boba Fett and more.
At first glance the only similarities between Ted and Adam’s work is the Star Wars subject matter. Ted uses burly pieces of hardwood inlaid with mother of pearl. Adam uses watercolors on paper. They use entirely different approaches to create their work, but they both rely on absolute precision to execute their visions.
Ted begins his process by finding old Star Wars toys on eBay to stage and photograph when stock footage won’t work. Living in Florida provides Ted a wide range of beautiful wood he can choose from including cypress, cedar and camphor woods. Each piece requires hours of sanding and planing to create a useable surface. The outer “raw” edges are chromed with a unique painting process to accentuate the organic structure from the machined surface.
Next he uses a CNC machine to carve precise placements for the mother of pearl to be inlaid. Mother of pearl (m.o.p.) is a naturally iridescent shell material found inside of certain mollusks and on the surface of pearls. The art of inlaying m.o.p. into wood is a centuries old process used across many cultures.
“The shining, playful, and reflected light of mother of pearl has attracted the attention of human beings since the beginning of the world. Societies, tribes, and nations have all added the technology of their day to their experience, knowledge, and understanding, and they have turned mother of pearl from one form into another. “ (1)
True to the quote above Ted’s work is a perfect example of the merging of technology with mother of pearl as an artistic medium. A combination of computer software, carving and laser cutting allows Ted to cut and fit hundreds of pieces together very precisely in a confined space.
Adam Lister is well known for his “pixelated” watercolor paintings. He transforms imagery into an abstract yet concise interpretation constructed of 90 degree angles tightly filled with color. This technique presents many challenges requiring a methodical and controlled approach, especially considering he’s using a notoriously difficult medium to manage. “I choose to work with watercolor because I’m drawn to the hand- made and transparent qualities of the paint itself. I also find the juxtaposition of rigid drawing and soft washes of color to be an interesting combination.” Lister says.
When Adam deconstructs a subject he must consider what characteristics to accentuate so the image maintains its integrity. Our brain is trained to expect a certain visual structure from well known imagery, by altering this expectation, Adam forces you to piece it back together resulting in an entirely new interaction.
“These pictures are like puzzles, carefully taken apart and then pieced back together to reveal the subject. By referencing classical works of art, and nostalgic scenes and objects, I find these works to be transformations of images that have a collective familiarity. These works were inspired by my love for geometric abstraction, color field painting, and old school digital graphics.”