Evan Stuart Marshall: Artist Statement
My Layers series of paintings celebrates the color and excitement of our most beloved cities, places, events and subjects while peeling back facades and cross-sectioning layers to reveal the smaller secrets within. I imagine what people and other creatures are doing in their dark places, and how their movements sometimes intertwine. I want viewers to get lost in the busyness of my vision, make discoveries, enjoy surprising takes on the familiar.
I use bold, vivid colors with dark outlines, working in mixed media—mostly acrylic but whatever will give me the effect I’m after: marker, pastel, collage, gouache, stencil, graphite, stamping, nail polish, colored pencil, found objects—on either canvas or panel. My work has a naïve, pop art/folk art feel; I take a whimsical, fantastical approach, mixing past and present, sometimes incorporating elements of fantasy or Steampunk. Some of my strongest influences are the artists Jean Dubuffet, Charles Fazzino, Keith Haring, Burton Morris and James Rizzi because of the detail, freshness, exuberance and imagination in their work.
My painting New York City Underground cross-sections the greatest city in the world from the sky down to the deep sea. A demon watches a boater in Central Park while a Steampunk dirigible floats overhead. Masses of people move through subway tunnels—both vintage and modern—while a boat from the Circle Line chugs toward a menacing tentacle of Cthulhu, H. P. Lovecraft’s mythical monster, which lurks in the water beneath the city and exerts its dark influence.
Part of the excitement in creating these pieces is deciding on a city, place, event or subject and then researching landmarks and historic events, famous and infamous, known and little-known. Projects currently in development include New Jersey, Pop Art, Jane Austen, Provincetown, Halloween, Jack the Ripper, and 42nd Street.