Be it through toxic news and politics or the mountains of trash in landfills and oceans, trash and trash talk have become threats to our collective future. In this upcoming limited-run show, local artists Devan Horton and Paul Kroner shine a light on trash and its literal and metaphorical implications, as well as raise money for these local organizations: Keep Cincinnati Beautiful, Green Umbrella, and Cincinnati Recycling and Reuse Hub.
In this series, "Penchant," I explore our culture’s obsession with consumption and waste by analyzing our relationship with garbage. Pulling from an interest in ancient societies and frustration from finding trash in nature, I saw the evidence that will remain from our civilization’s existence. Through the artifacts and artworks left behind by great societies throughout history, we can determine how cultures lived and the things they valued. How will future societies view our priorities? What will they conclude about the way we attempted to solve our problems? I believe they will find a society built on convenience and individualism. I paint our blind relationship with the things we throw out to bring a more mindful awareness about the way we consume. Through experimentation with color and texture, threatening piles of trash evoke curiosity and playfulness while creating a sense of foreboding. I confront my audience with our waste obsession by allowing them to rethink their relationship with the things they consume while also bringing the awareness needed to confront irresponsible industries about what they are producing in order to fix this systemic issue. Penchant bridges the gaps and invites everyone to the same page by demonstrating an immediate level of impact on climate change in our daily lives. Penchant brings to light our relationship with waste in hopes of convincing others that despite the ongoing social and economic issues around us, our planet is always of the utmost importance. As a species we must work together to preserve its beauty for future generations.
Devan Horton is a Northern Kentucky artist who creates oil paintings to call attention to the ongoing issue of waste in our culture. Since receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from Northern Kentucky University, Devan has crafted and promoted her artistic career by exhibiting in local and national galleries, including Manifest Gallery, Caza Sykes Gallery, and most recently, a solo exhibition of her series, “Penchant”, at Buckham Gallery in Flint, Michigan.
The corrugated box has become an ever-present symbol of our capitalistic society. Since the pandemic, they are even more prevalent as more and more of us opt to have any and everything delivered to our homes. Our garbage bins overflow with the detritus of our consumer culture. At the same time, the insatiable 24/7 news cycle bombards us with an endless parade of talking heads promoting the big lie and other rubbish meant to attract eyeballs like flies to rotting garbage. So-called "leaders" of one of our major political parties litter the airwaves with their thinly veiled racist, misogynistic, xenophobic propaganda non-stop on Fox News, talk radio, and other conspiracy-related outlets. Their black-and-white view of the world aims to return us to the monochromatic past, where men were men, women were women, white was right, and the hell with everyone else. It is hard to avoid them, as they seem to be everywhere and multiplying like the boxes on the doorsteps of our homes. This series, "BOX NEWS," captures just some of these aspiring autocrats and bombastic blowhards in black-and-white on a "canvas" befitting their subjects: an empty and discarded box destined for the trash bin of history.
Paul Kroner is a Cincinnati artist and gallery owner who moves fluidly from one medium to another. His work spans from figurative to abstract, 2D to 3D, and analog to digital. At the heart of Paul's work is a desire to find the intersection of art and design and to create a visual narrative that invites the viewer to be an integral part of the story. His work is in private collections nationally and internationally and has been in numerous galleries and solo and group exhibits in New England and the Midwest.