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Jim Shrosbree, Iowa Artist

posted on July 8, 2008 at 5:35 PM

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Fairfield sculptor and Maharishi University Professor Jim Shrosbree explores an inner landscape where reality is elusive.

Bill Teeple: It's hard to describe Fairfield but there's this unique place and it's totally unique. You're out here and every town looks alike and every town is alike and it's very homogenous and then suddenly you find yourself in Fairfield and you're in an international place with people from all over the world. You've got poets and literary people and actors and we've got a theatrical scene here, we've got quite a music scene and there's some very significant artists here such as Jim Shrosbree, for instance. People that were players in the New York art scene or the LA art scene and then decided that wasn't enough, they needed more completeness, they needed to find something more completing to them. Jim Shrosbree is a great example of the archetypal Fairfield artist. He's looking for wholeness in life and wholeness in art and it exudes from these oddball things that he makes that you can't quite define or say what is the meaning of these little things.

Bill Teeple: When you've spent some time with Jim's pieces and you get a feeling of what he's doing you don't have to understand it. When you start looking at it you start to get it. If you don't close yourself down and not look at it and say this is not art, if you open yourself up and just start exploring his forms and the little trip he's taking your awareness on and you're waiting to get the gift that he's going to give you, you'll get it. What that gift is, is the gift of the sacredness of everything. Every little shape and every little wire and then you'll follow that wire to the wall and then you'll see a little pencil mark on the wall. Every point of that, everything becomes alive so this is the value of his art. He's awakening us as a result of having just experienced these simple things.

Jim Shrosbree: So, this is the wall right here and there will be a platform that will be cut that's about as similar to the width of the piece and I'll probably put a wire between that dot and a dot here and into the wire to hold it in place so it doesn't spin but yet it moves with the air in the room. And it goes back and forth on the diving board and then this will have stripes on it.

Jim Shrosbree: It gives me a better idea and it will be embedded into the wall so it will cantilever out of the wall instead of springing out without any support. So, this floats over. And so I have to fool around with the distance, the height, it'll probably be something more like that.

Jim Shrosbree: This black line comes here and then the shadow picks up the black line there, makes the black line there.

Jim Shrosbree: Now when this dries it will reveal the underground layers, it will reveal that brown ground a little bit and everything that's been done. There's another layer of history which I'm curious to see what will be going on here. That could be painted in blue or it can remain yellow. I like what's happening with the yellow. I like the way that yellow looks and then the clay begins the violet shadow. In any event, the play of shadow and reflection I want to amp that up a little bit. And that shadow will probably be amped up by painting the shadow. This is a piece that was at the Des Moines Art Center show there and this is painted. You see the edge of that shadow? That is the real shadow and then this is painted with that and so it amps up the reflection of this so you have a shadow and reflection. And when you walk by the shadow goes away, there's no shadow and it's revealed that this is painted. But when you first approach it you can't really see it, it's hard to determine that it's painted. You get in the way of a spotlight then it shows.

Jim Shrosbree: It's really the greatest thing that can happen is to be inspired. If you're not inspired about what you're doing then it's a shortcoming. I know that the work that I see that I like affects me in an inspirational way. I'm just inspired, thrilled and sometimes stopped in my tracks and I hope that there's some of that happening in the work that I make. I aspire to that.

Tags: art artists Fairfield Iowa sculptors

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