Evan Sheldon (°1992, United States) makes photos, paintings, sculptures and installations. By experimenting with aleatoric processes, Sheldon often creates several practically identical works, upon which thoughts that have apparently just been developed are manifested: notes are made and then crossed out again, ‘mistakes’ are repeated.
His photos are a drawn reflection upon the art of photography itself: thoroughly self-referential, yet no less aesthetically pleasing, and therefore deeply inscribed in the history of modernism – made present most palpably in the artist’s exploration of some of the most hallowed of modernist paradigms. Through a radically singular approach that is nevertheless inscribed in the contemporary debate, he creates intense personal moments masterfully created by means of rules and omissions, acceptance and refusal, luring the viewer round and round in circles.
His works are characterised by the use of everyday objects in an atmosphere of middleclass mentality in which recognition plays an important role. By manipulating the viewer to create confusion, he formalizes the coincidental and emphasizes the conscious process of composition that is behind the seemingly random works. The thought processes, which are supposedly private, highly subjective and unfiltered in their references to dream worlds, are frequently revealed as assemblages.
His works are on the one hand touchingly beautiful, on the other hand painfully attractive. Again and again, the artist leaves us orphaned with a mix of conflicting feelings and thoughts. By applying abstraction, he uses references and ideas that are so integrated into the process of the composition of the work that they may escape those who do not take the time to explore how and why these images haunt you, like a good film, long after you’ve seen them.
His works doesn’t reference recognisable form. The results are deconstructed to the extent that meaning is shifted and possible interpretation becomes multifaceted. By taking daily life as subject matter while commenting on the everyday aesthetic of middle class values, he often creates work using creative game tactics, but these are never permissive. Play is a serious matter: during the game, different rules apply than in everyday life and even everyday objects undergo transubstantiation.
His works feature coincidental, accidental and unexpected connections which make it possible to revise art history and, even better, to complement it. Combining unrelated aspects lead to surprising analogies. Evan Sheldon currently lives and works in Dallas, Texas.