Shredded documents are incorporated into 2D paintings in a series of works by artist Ray Zovar of McFarland. The series, “Security,” is featured in an exhibit of the same name that also includes illuminated sculptural paintings. Steenbock Gallery, in the offices of Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters, 1922 University Ave., hosts the exhibit that opens Monday and runs through April 13.
Zovar portrays the modern struggle against threats to the security of our identity and personal safety in his abstract multimedia paintings in "Security." Collectives of our families, friends, colleagues and associates are represented by distinctive shapes. Overlapping elements and individual threads moving into adjoining spaces signify our connections, our sameness, while hard lines represent our boundaries, our individuality, and our personal and cultural differences.
Intrusions that undermine the stability and safety of our real and virtual lives are conveyed through the use of Zovar’s own shredded documents.
The depth and complexity of this “identity insecurity” so common in our modern times is illustrated through Zovar’s use of intricate details and saturated colors in "Security."
“I create my abstract paintings with a focus on depth, texture and details that appear to glow from within,” Zovar said in his artist’s statement. “My use of paint, sculpting medium and glazes has forced me to view color in a whole new way.”
Interplays of form, color and colored light, Zovar’s illuminated sculpture paintings have LED RGB string lighting within them that the viewer can control remotely. Zovar said the challenge of the 360-degree art pieces was to engage the viewer’s interest when only half of the piece can be viewed at a time.
Originally from Milwaukee, Zovar remembers sculpting, drawing, and painting in grade school, and says he has always been an artist. The dioramas at the Milwaukee Public Museum were a favorite of his and most likely inspired his fascination with three-dimensional art. His talents range from being the sole artist/designer for his 1965 high school yearbook and commissioned at age 20 to create a life-size hammered bronze wall sculpture of Michelangelo’s “Creation of Adam” for a church in West Allis, to creating fountains, sculptures and furniture using mosaics, along with his abstract paintings.