Bison B. Bison - 2020
Oil and mixed oil media on linen
Height 72" x Width 60"
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“Bison B. Bison is the title of this work. It is a bit of a double entendre referencing both Bison Bison, the scientific name for the American Bison (which this portraiture suggests). The "B" as a name and an initial is for Jean-Michel Basquiat who is a massive influence of mine. That influence is helpful especially in moments where I find myself thinking more seriously about my work than I think is appropriate or useful to me at the time. It reminds me instead to revert to a little more of a childlike intuition in work and not screen decisions before I have even give them a chance. I’ve stopped myself from trying and so in this piece I wanted to pay attention to nurturing that voice and that somewhat childlike intuition, and the style of work that I was going for I find to be very reminiscent of Basquiat’s work. There are certain moments that are a bit of a more overt historical reference to him, like the hatch work through the head representing hair. The feeling that this piece arrived at in the end is one that I’m quite pleased with. It serves very playful yet mature presences of paint on canvas and in terms of the palate and paint application, it is hopefully reciprocating for the viewer. The more that they give to it the more that it has to offer."
- Connor Liljestrom, artist