Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Friends of Eman Show: Chris Kerr "The Kerr"
So Check out Chris Kerr's show this weekend. To better describe the show I will allow my and his good friend and Art Historian Amanda Ferris McKenzie to elaborate and explain in more detail:
Four months ago Chris Kerr, 34, had an epiphany - this led to his most recent sculpture "Trouble at the Strip Club". His experience was similar to one Conway Twitty had at the age of 31. Both men had come to the realization that it was time to stop playing Rock and Roll music for the kids and time to get down to business with Country music for the grown ups. Although the mediums are different, the intent is the same.
However humorous and innocent his work may appear, there is an underlying sadness and vulnerability. His Southern Baptist upbringing can be seen throughout his work and effects his choice of medium, stylistic traits, and political commentary. In "Touch the hand of the man that made you a Robot", emotion and complexity is shown by combining traditional painting styles with more modern airbrushing techniques. Comparisons can be drawn between Kerr's body of work and the sideshow attractions at a carnival. As viewers, we want to look in amazement and chuckle with amusement, but the melancholy at the root of these displays cannot be ignored.
Neo-Country is Kerr's solo movement, a culmination of those conflicting ideas brought together by his own exploration of self. Using contradictory visuals, titles, and at times speech bubbles, Kerr forces the viewer to reflect on today's issues and way of life. Kerr's Neo-Country work is indeed a visual reflection of country music per se, deeply routed in his past, fighting for his present and future. Comparing this movement with Conway Twitty once more, Kerr's work resembles Twitty City, an amusement park created by Twitty for his fans, complete with rides and gift shops. After giving country music a real voice, Twitty also gave it a home. Neo-Country is Kerr's Twitty City, nestled in southern roots, living in the Midwest, thinking outside the ordinary.
Amanda Ferris McKenzie
Check out Kerr's website