Special to the Tribune-Star
TERRE HAUTE —
Artist Neil Garrison, member of the Wabash Valley Art Guild, has a small grouping of art on display at Vigo County Public Library throughout the month of April. The works shown consist of a variety of mediums and subject matters.
Garrison’s often surreal themes exaggerate common subjects. He likes to combine unrelated objects in one image and uses word play by creating a marriage between title and image.
“You can combine two very basic images and create something entirely original,” Garrison says.
Some have labeled this style as “Port-manteau,” a morphing of two or more meanings, which can be seen in his work titled “Erase-ism,” currently on display at the library. Garrison explains the word is derived from “erase” and “racism.” The image combines President Lincoln wearing a top hat with an ordinary pencil and an eraser. The message he wants to convey (erase racism) is communicated through the title, which Garrison says still carries meaning today.
Garrison likes to incorporate the best medium to fit the concept. Explaining his approach, he said, “I enjoy using a variety of techniques and I try to match the technique with the specific idea I’m trying to convey.”
Some of his medium choices include pen and ink, acrylic paint, screen prints and, most recently, duct tape.
Additional works on display include a recent painting inspired by a 1957 Chrysler New Yorker that he saw at one of the Newport Hill Climb events. And since 2006, Garrison also has experimented with a series of drawings created with various kinds of tapes, especially duct tape. One such image is titled “Stones Tapes” which is in the display also. This image portrays Mick Jagger from the Rolling Stones representing his musician series that included Sade and John Lennon.
Garrison has received several local and regional awards for his art, and each year he looks forward to a possible selection in the annual Swope show.
He studied graphic design, English and marketing at Indiana State University and has been creating art for gallery shows since the early 1980s. Other of Garrison’s images can be seen at: www.neilgarrison