2016 Recipient: Seth Marosok

Artist Statement

“The man who has not given himself up to the pleasures of anguish, who has not savored in his mind the dangers of his own extinction nor relished such cruel and sweet annihilations, will never be cured of the obsession with death: He will be tormented by it, for he will have resisted it”.

-E.M. Cioran, A Short History of Decay

Drawing is my mechanism for alleviating the stresses and irrational anxieties that invade my day-to-day reality. From a young age, I found that I could temper these fears through drawing. It is a practice I carry through to this day. Charcoal is my principal medium because of its immediacy and malleability. The images I create are spontaneous yet meticulous. With charcoal, I am able to cover great areas and refine the smallest details. It affords me a level of control that I so desperately wish I had in other areas of my life.

I wish to show the struggle against forces beyond our control or understanding; against destruction, collapse, change, decay and death. These forces, be they natural, biological, or otherwise, threaten to damage and destroy the body. The themes of body horror and abjection are prevalent in my work. Bodies are fragmented, twisted and contorted. In some cases the figure is not apparent but lost amongst the undulations of decay and detritus. Internal body parts are exposed as the outside barriers of the body begin to break down and merge with their surroundings. My compositions tend to lean towards Horror Vacui. I feel the need to cover every inch of the picture plane with drawing. This aesthetic preference also lends itself to the themes of horror through a feeling of claustrophobia and loss of control.

My most recent body of work utilizes the forms found in nature as the underlying structure of my compositions. Images of natural forms like bones and tree stumps are repurposed as the skeletal structure upon which I can base my drawing. Within the boundaries of these natural and decaying forms, I am free to interpret the kind of organisms that could inhabit or compose such an object. My anxieties are given form in these works as unfathomable life forms that dwell just below the surface. In these drawings, I speak to the natural cycle of life, procreation and death, while coping with my fears and anxieties.

Seth Merosok artwork