What’s it all about? Nobody knows.
How does it look? Interesting. Fun. Whimsical.
Yet there is also a darkness and complexity that cannot be denied.
Edward Goss’ work is at once arresting, mystifying, suspicious, and uplifting.
The artist refuses to explain what he has written in his complex scratchy text based compositions, though I seem to be able to make out one that reads, “LOVE BLOOD”.
This doesn’t come as a great shock since he also paints skulls, although skulls that seem to be smiling. Yet also repeated through his work is a sullen horse, NOT holding its head high, but rather looking like it is old, exhausted, or in mourning.
(Is this intended to be in contrast to say the high energy exertion of one of American iconography? A brazen, proud and strong stallion or Polo horse?) Maybe, we’ll never know.
This horse in repose is repeated in many of Goss’ works, so it must mean something.
In addition, Goss repeats a pattern of text that is often As and Hs, which could be “HA HA HA”s which I think is funny and clever.
It’s kind of like his work is that of a maniacal child or an adult with a very subversive sense of humor.
And that makes me like it all the more. Because while it looks like a child could have made many of his pieces, it is obvious that this is well thought out artwork of high intention.
His art is not limited to canvas or collage. He also makes these great soft-sculptures of old scraps of fabric. The horse, again rich and vibrant yet tattered and torn, and there is another piece to note, that of a smiling little boy(?) or a bird, or a non-specific creature, but the smile is undeniable, this possibly the most direct and clear statement of the pieces of his I have seen.
Paradoxical, his work is.
While there is a mischievous undertone, the colors are bright and evoke joy. And it is this one- two punch that makes Goss one of the most interesting artists working today.
-M I C H A E L T R O N N
Your work is very intriguing, What inspires you?
For me, that is a difficult question to answer. I’m not sure if anything necessarily inspires me to make my art. Outside of the stuff that bounces around inside of me. I need to see the visual outcome in front of me so I can move on to the next thing lining up inside to be let out, meaning I’m never really searching for inspiration from anyone or anything to make my work. It’s more about getting it down and out of my head.
What is your subject matter about?
Actually I never really attempt to define what my subject matter is while in the process of working. For me, I try to stay free of those thoughts. However, when I do go back and look at my work, I see the subject matter is about history. It’s about people and the places that have had a real effect in some way on my life. The truth is, I prefer not to over-explain my work. I think it loses impact for the viewer, I want them to just see it the way they want to see it.
What art do you most identify with and why?
Definitely Haute Couture Fashion.
The designers are constantly creating new and detailed works for every season and must ensure they have multiple recognizable work from there own hand. Designers can’t keep churning out the same art from one season to the next. I marvel at the creative process. It causes me to look at my own work and not want to settle on the ideas or colours even if in the past it has been a success.
Is there another artists that influence you? (could be music, photography, sculpture etc.)
I will say this about influence, I know there are definitely artists whose work encourages me to keep going down the rabbit hole to discover more of what they have created.
What role does the artist have in society?
I cannot recall ever giving the subject very much thought. It may be a selfish thing to admit but I make art for myself. I make it to look at but also to document my life. I think of my work almost like a daily time capsule. I have marks to remember where I was and who was with me at that time in my life.
What superpower would you have and why?
Having super power seems like it might be a lot of pressure to maintain in one’s day to day life. But if I had to choose, it would be to have the ability to turn off sound whenever I wanted. To be able to turn off your neighbors would be the best superpower ever.
What couldn’t you do without?
Barbra my cat
My Maison Margiela bag
What is your outlook on life and work?
I don’t think I can separate the two. My life is fully about my work. There is no in-between. I’m not sure if there ever was. I am more comfortable acknowledging that now. Even when I don’t make art for days at a time, it is still part of the process. I will say that making art is the most sane thing I have ever done.
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