At 43 years old, Scott Troxel decided to pursue his love of art, and began to master the creation of abstract sculptures.
Troxel, a 1994 film alumnus, has two sculptures created from wood and acrylic spray paint, currently featured in ‘Unplugged,’ an art exhibition at the James Oliver Gallery on Chestnut Street near 8th from Oct. 24 through Nov. 28. The in-person exhibit features painters and sculpture artists from around the world, including Australia, Canada, Sweden and the United States.
The exhibition, which showcases two pieces from each artist in their preferred medium, highlights the importance of human connection and taking time away from everyday life to get back the basics of what matters most, said Johnny Romeo, an Australian painter and curator of ‘Unplugged’.
“We are unplugged because of COVID-19 and are able to restart in a brand new way of representing what we were doing,” Romeo said.
Troxel believes his pieces show the evolution of his woodworking skill as he learned more techniques and refined his style in the year between the two pieces.
“As an artist, you are constantly evolving,” Troxel said. “You look back and see what you were doing and how you have grown.”
His two featured pieces, titled “Quiet Riot IV” and “Voyager 5,” were essential to understanding his artistic journey, particularly “Voyager 5,” which was an important stepping stone in finding his artistic style, Troxel said.
“Voyager 5” has reserved colors of white, black and orange alongside natural wood pieces with mostly vertical lines running down the heart-like shape. “Quiet Riot IV,” which represents Troxel’s current pop-art style, is colorful, with geometric-shaped pieces of light blue, orange, pink and yellow strips of wood contrasting the natural wood that makes up a jagged, circular shape.
“Voyager 5” was one of the first pieces Troxel completed in 2018. The piece got him to where his artwork is today: modern and abstract.
For ‘Unplugged,’ Romeo reached out to specific artists that he knew were passionate about their craft, and would successfully highlight the commonality between the group’s work, he said.
“There is a real evident evolution of style, it starts with symbolic abstraction color and breaks into complete configuration,” he added. “The evolution of color as you can see creates a very concise show.”
Troxel’s pieces take materials that aren’t modern, like wood and paint, and transform them into abstract shapes, a technique inspired by mid-century modern art, he added.
“They have the ability to take something that’s organic like wood and just the way that the lines are done in the aesthetic,” he added. “It makes it really modern looking and that’s really difficult to do sometimes.”
As an abstract artist, Troxel experiments on the balance and symmetry of his pieces because his art lacks clear subject matter or social and political commentary, he added.
Australian-based artist Go Suga, 40, is glad to have his art featured in ‘Unplugged’ after many events were canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s amazing that something like this was able to become a reality,” Suga said. “I had a few offers fall through this year because of the pandemic, so this opportunity gives me and other artists hope for the future.”
Troxel believes ‘Unplugged’ recognizes art’s resilience throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It shows that artists are still out there and they’re still creating and they’re still trying to make the world more beautiful,” Troxel added.