Drawings and Paintings by Mike Taylor
May 2 – May 18, 2014
Opening Reception: Friday, May 2, 7 - 10 pm
As convoluted as the multiple interpretations of that damned Confederate Flag, The South still stands as a metonym for the various neuroses that define life in the United States. Impossible strands of Biblical literalism and an atrophied manufacturing base defined the 20th century below the Mason-Dixon, and while the majority of people were poor, at least they could thank their obliging Creator they were born white. From the plantation system to Jim Crow to right this minute, the southern poor are no more free than they have ever been, bound by a belief that to be both poor and white means something has gone wrong, while historical views of standard capitalism provide that things are going exactly as planned. To understand this would be to see oneself as having been played for a fool by the church, the boss, and the government. And no one likes to be seen as a fool.
In Bad Credit, his most recent series of drawings and paintings, Mike Taylor mines his childhood in the Southeast U.S. for images of the labyrinthine intersections of race and class, belief and misinformation. The self-styled rednecks, obese shoppers looking to fill some emptiness at a strip mall, hypocritical chuch vermin…all the stereotypes of both Mark Twain’s and Eldridge Cleaver’s literature which those of us in sophisticated Northern cities and college towns laugh at, are to a degree real. But, Taylor asks, how did it get this way?
Mike Taylor is a printmaker, painter, writer, self-publisher and arts educator. He works in screenprinting, painting, collage, sculpture and performance. His work is narrative and autobiographical, documenting his surroundings and reflecting on culture, politics, and the human condition. While self-publishing anthologies of his own artwork, comics and writing he is also an elementary school art teacher. Taylor received a BFA from the University of Florida, Gainesville. Taylor lives and works in Brooklyn.
We are thrilled Mike will be showing his work at Wayfarers from May 2 – 18th.