"Partly known for his large-scale narrative drawings, "Bog Fes" exists as somewhat of a departure within artist Joel McDonald’s output. The work does, however, align with his other primary interest in exploring geometric design through an ongoing series of handmade quilts based on traditional quilting patterns. "Bog Fes" was done on two separate sheets of paper that when combined appear to be one seamless drawing. A solid red beam is refracted through a cosmic pink bubble, emissions of color break down into large pixels that resemble a grid of paint samples before transforming back into an infinitely descending rainbow of light. As with a lot of great abstraction it seems to represent the very pure idea of creativity itself, an exploding star of boundless energy and invention. Even within his most graphic detailed figurative work, McDonald explores the cycles of life and the human condition. For me, this work distills those ideas into a very abstract image."
"I first encountered the work at Zephyr Gallery here in Louisville in the show Autobiographies, a pair of concurrent solo presentations by McDonald and artist Sarah Lyon, on view January 6th—February 11th, 2012. The better part of a year went by and I couldn’t stop thinking about the work, so I was very pleased to hear that it was still available and that I could acquire it for my personal collection. My partner has an extensive collection of Mid-Century Modern dishware, so this vignette brings together a few of our combined interests in design and abstraction."
Pictured: Bog Fes, 2011
22” x 60”
acrylic and ink on twinrocker watercolor paper
Ceramics pictured include works by George Nelson, Russel Wright,
Ben Seibel, Ernest Sohn and Eva Zeisel.
See more of McDonald's work at jmcdwork.com/autobiographies