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Ted Lawson

Artist 279

Ted Lawson

Conceptual Art

Ted Lawson (Born 1970) is a North American conceptual artist and sculptor. His interdisciplinary work ranges from highly realistic figures cast in silicone to painted abstraction.

His work is held together by his recurring use of art-historical themes. This includes “God’s eye point of view” where he explores what it is to existentially human and recreates themes in a modern way.

His hunt for meaning in creation is both poetic and abstracted, yet the result is often distinctly hyper-real.

In one of today’s examples Lwason hooked himself up to a robotic painting machine that used his blood as ink to draw a nude portrait of himself.

This was part of a series of artworks made using Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machines – originally programmed to paint with a self-filling brush and ink device. Ted Lawson decided to hack the device to use his own blood, which led to the notion of a self-portrait.

The artwork is part of a series which explores the way we perceive reality by abstracting or mapping it, and the role that technology plays in that process.

"Many people have had a very strong reaction to the work in both positive and negative ways, which I think is to be expected when using a medium as loaded as blood," he said. "This is definitely a work made for the internet age and the biggest benefit is getting to see those comments unfold as they are happening wherever photos of the drawings are posted."

He is known to use digital technology and algorithms and as both a window into our future selves and a regressive analogy of our times.

In his other artwork ‘The Death of Narrative’ a life-size nude sculpture is posed in ambiguity. Geometric shapes are plentiful, lying alongside human figures and physical remnants.

Drawing the question on what does she rest? When observing a subjectless subject as this one, one cannot help but to create purpose; it is human nature to want to understand through vehicles of narrative and history. Thus, by placing a being in a certain trajectory of non-meaning (the artist describes this work as existential), meaning is then inevitably created due to the human brain’s need for association.

Though his figurative work Dawson actualises difficult concepts on physical identity. His work both strips individuality from his subjects while simultaneously forcing character through implications of the viewer, and therefore, complicating the very meaning of identity.

Sources consulted


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