Gary Monroe's charcoal drawings depict religious snake handling practices in Southern Appalachia. Monroe's work will be shown as part of the Big Rock Candy Mountain show opening next month at BB pal Kirsten Anderson's Roq La Rue gallery in Seattle. This piece is titled "Arthur Reaches Into the Deep Light."
From Monroe's artist statement:
An initial impression upon viewing the drawings is the realist documentation of the folk history of Southern Appalachia. Upon reflection however, the viewer discovers the interwoven influence and roles that serpents and snakes have played throughout the course of both Christianity and art history. This interaction is strikingly demonstrated by the use of classical and Renaissance poses for the contemporary realist figures in the drawings. Numerous allusions are made to famous Renaissance and classical works which depict scenes in the history of Christianity and mythology in which serpents played a predominant role. Images and poses of the snake handlers were appropriated from works by Michelangelo, Rubens, Titian, Bronzino, Caravaggio, as well as the sculptors of the Laocoon group. Adding to the eclectic nature of the drawings are the subtle influences of Jackson Pollock, Kasimir Malevich, and Hopi Indian culture.Link