Gregory Lind Gallery is pleased to present “Big Things to Avoid,” a series of new graphite drawings by Oakland-based artist Ed Loftus.
For the past decade, the self-taught Loftus has been creating idiosyncratic, photorealistic graphite drawings that address the larger themes and subtexts of the human condition, including fear, the concept of the inevitable, and the single-minded nature of obsession. Loftus derives his images and ideas from old family photographs, borrowed images, and photos that he has taken. This meticulous archive of images sometimes acts as prima materia for a discrete series of “reimagined memories”; other times, Loftus’ creations are purely symbolic and capture the moment with no need for translation or mediated commentary.
The self-reflexive nature of creating the work is evident in pieces such as “Untitled” (Brick Wall), which elucidates the simultaneously isolating and expansive nature of making art, of “bricking yourself in and opening yourself up.” Loftus’ drawing, “Untitled” (Walking Skeleton) encompasses a rumination on the indifference of nature to human existence and the continuity of cosmic forces that extend past life as we know it. Reconstituted memories conjoin with the ineluctable tides of time with “Untitled” (Girl and Seagulls), which suggests the labyrinthine byways of sexual awareness. “Untitled” (Living Room) touches on metaphysical forces and evokes the presence of absence, while “Untitled” (Trashbag Mountain) constitutes a counter to the quiet elegance of the former piece by calling into question “all the obsessive bullshit we fill our lives with when we should be thinking about the wonders of life,” says Loftus.
Ideally, Loftus’ drawings are to be viewed within touching distance. He explains, “The process is somewhat painstaking; every mark and gesture is intended, and often requires close inspection…I usually don’t explain the work, as I find it is better left for interpretation.”
Ed Loftus is formally from the United Kingdom and lives with his wife and children in Oakland, California. His work has been featured at Jack Hanley Gallery.