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TWO LOCKE ARTISTS COMBINE TALENTS IN NEW BOOK
Both of these talented individuals, one a visual artist and the other a poet,
have had their work published in book
form before. However, by combining their considerable skills they have created a
unique and fascinating new work.
Their recently published book entitled Order of Events contains 60 new drawings by Brock Alexander and 60 poems by D.R. Wagner. Both live in Locke and have been friends for years. The mutual respect they share for each other's work ultimately led to this collaborative effort and the fruits of their labor are contained in a volume of art and text that truly challenge the eye and the mind.
Artist Brock Alexander owns and operates the Moon Cafe Gallery, located on Main Street Locke, and currently teaches ceramics at Stockton's Lincoln High School. Brock holds a Master of Fine Arts degree and works in a wide range of artistic mediums, including oil and acrylic paint, charcoal, pastel, sculpture, ceramics, mixed-medium and found-art assemblage. His works have been displayed in numerous galleries throughout Northern California and his large commissioned metal sculptures have been installed in multiple states.
Poet D.R. Wagner is the author of over thirty books of poetry. His work is much published and has appeared in many translations and anthologies. He taught Design at the University of California at Davis for over thirty years. He also taught the Honors program at the university conducting classes in Poetry by Design. He is also a visual artist, producing miniature needle-made tapestries that have been exhibited internationally and are included in numerous publications and museum collections.
Upon opening Order of Events one is immediately struck by Alexander's images. They initially appear stark and alarming. But upon closer inspection each work begins to reveal subtle, even hidden images. Each work demands attention ... and time.
Brock Alexander: "Order of Events forced me out of some old habits and helped me find new places to go with my art. Sometimes it just takes the right opportunity or in the case of this project - the right accident. The results of spilled ink marked the birth of this book".
"I used ink and paint on paper to create the images. Through pressing and blotting this mixture I create a type of serendipitous print. The results look like Rorschach tests. With a pen and brush I take these tests! I think of it like cloud busting: What do I see? Similar to the technique used by Latin American artist Robert Matta, I use marks, stipples, paint, water and ink to create something new ... something discovered. My process was from the gut. I was just responding and reacting to what was on the paper. Sometimes a concept would develop early; a vision which could not be denied. At other times I just allowed myself to be lost in the process".
D.R. Wagner's poetry is meant to complement and enhance the visual images Alexander has created. Wagner has selected poems from his massive catalogue of works. Each poem is associated with a particular visual image and each work of art has its complimentary poem. Their unification leaves the viewer/reader with a lasting impression. Each couplet should be experienced slowly and thoughtfully.
~ Stuart Walthall