I paint farm animals and do so because I live, work and dream in rural Northeast Wisconsin. I remove the animals from their agrarian context and place them into fictive thematic environments. The theme pendulum varies for each body of work and swings from a visual to a literary narrative and is arrived at in a tangential manner.
My most recent bodies of work have been:
2018 “Herd” – Kaleidoscopic visual sensation experienced when looking at grouped animals. (Upcoming at the Museum of Wisconsin Art)
2017 “Close to the Forest” – Confronting the massive Forest of Fontainebleau.
2016 “Calendar” – Seasonal life at the 44th Parallel.
2015 “Astronomies” – Astronomy and the theater in the sky.
2014 “Code” – Altering Holstein cattle coat patterns to express human ‘sematics’.
2013 “Creamery” – Stories of growing up across from an old creamery.
2012 “Yard” – Resultant visual pattern of agrarian land apportioning.
I find animals to be brilliant non-verbal storytellers, well suited to taking a role as sign, symbol, or metaphor in a specific theme. For me, farm animals also present a sense of place which I feel is an important aspect of creating authentic work.
Craig Blietz – March 2017