Taylor Overbey – The Faithful Shepherd

The Faithful Shepherd. Oil on Canvas. 40″ x 30″


Biographical notes:
I am currently a 2nd year graduate student at Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, MI, where I am also an adjunct professor.
I am doing oil on Masonite assemblages more than anything else now because it gives me more latitude to develop my concept and engage the viewer. I like to do work that has a somewhat serious message, but has a bit of humor to make it palatable. For instance, “George Washington vs. Godzilla” is a funny title, and Lady Liberty is based on a 1940’s pinup model. But the deeper message here is that this picture is based on the story of St. George and the Dragon. In that story St. George saved a King’s daughter who was sacrificed to the dragon so the people could get water from a lake. In my painting Lady Liberty is sacrificed to a monster who is destroying our nation’s capital. It will take someone like George Washington to slay the beast and restore our liberty.
I want to weave these kinds of ideas into my work more and more and get people to think. My older work, like “The Chess Players” was what I called “a slice of life.” When I would come across a scene that I found particularly interesting or beautiful I would paint it, or draw it. The work I did was aesthetically pleasing (at least to me) but it didn’t really require anything of the viewer. All he or she needed to do was enjoy it. Now I want to make things that are pleasing to the eye and interrupt, or arrest the viewer’s attention, and cause him or her to think about what I’ve done.
Taylor Overbey

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