Singsong by Stuart Snoddy
I hope you get to experience the exhibit of Stuart Snoddy’s work that is hanging in the Speck Gallery of the Harrison Center during the month of April. As one who is enthralled with all things intuitive in visual arts, I loved taking in the sensual images created with simple gouache and paper.
If you are familiar with the work of Stuart Snoddy, you may be expecting to see works in oil, such as the vivid, surreal portraits he does from his imagination. Born in Honduras, Snoddy recurved his BFA from Herron and MFA from Northern Illinois University. Many of his works are large pieces, but whatever the size, he is a master at capturing fantasy and humanity at once. The pieces currently hanging in the Speck Gallery are a slight diversion from what I would expect from this artist if only because his medium gives this show a pleasantly informal feeling.
To begin with, the works are small. The largest piece is about 8x10”. Small art is an invitation to a more intimate relationship between the art and the viewer, since it requires a closer look to take it in. There is no artist statement accompanying this display, and every piece is untitled, which is an opportunity for viewers to create their own stories and interpretations based on how each piece impacts them personally.
The colors are earthy and natural, yet even the pieces with the softest, lightest and most neutral color schemes come off as being intriguing and fun. The imagery feels spontaneous and organic, with shapes that splash, squish, drip and flow, depending upon how you look at them. Whether you see something concrete, like a fleshy body, a lizard’s head or a spilled Martini, or whether you go a little deeper and more abstract to examine emotions that these pieces inspire in you, each one has something unique to offer. Individually, each one expresses a moment or a mood for me. As a collection, they have an ephemeral feel that makes me feel as if I have stolen a glimpse of the artist’s secret and magical doodling.