Modigliani + Greenwalt
Altered and unaltered book
This work includes two books: The unaltered original which is a collection of figurative sketches by Amedeo Modigliani, and a second version of the same book which Greenwalt has augmented with his own sketches in ink. Mark's additions completely transform the most of the existing images, and introduce new works of art to many of the book's blank pages, often playing on the original drawing on the opposite page.
As the original collection of drawings focuses on beauty, youth and sensuality, the altered version twists our perceptions of these concepts. The figures in the book deftly change gender, age, health status and even species, asking us to question both the source and the ultimate outcome of our notions about physical ideals.
"Mutating through multiple cycles of growth and decay, my figures originate from drawing surfaces in which imagery is repeatedly formed, deformed, and reformed.
Similar to human bodies in nature, these human-like forms demand unique apophenic considerations, and like all figurative art, expose our own ideals, prejudices, and curiosity.
Awash in the imagery of a new digital era, we experience a vast array of figures whose formal and symbolic diversity rival the genetic morphology of hominins. Recogizing an awareness of old-master drawings, action figure toys, animated cartoons, scientific illustrations, stuffed animals, tribal masks, dolls, abstract figurative painting, fashion photography, tin-types, and science-fiction films, I further contribute to these hosts, whose memetic anatomy is entirely dependent on their mediated realities of shape and line.
The figures in My drawings are trapped within the surfaces of their origin, rendered incommunicado on a picture plane that is both womb and prison. They don’t speak, they can’t walk, and never breathe. Their symolic function is reflective only in the metapphysical presence of true human perceivers. These figure are the unpredictable products of an evolving design process, enticing speculation while denying communication."
-Mark Greenwalt, 2015