By Caitlyn Shea
Dave Rogers is a major contributor to the Long Island visual art scene and the art world at large. His artwork delivers a worldly fusion of Eastern and Western culture; which makes it unique when compared to the mainly Western perspectives we are used to seeing. Recognizable marketing icons, such as the Coca-Cola logo, collide with ritualistic terra-cotta warriors in his recent work “Coca-cotta.”
During college Rogers traveled east, to China, for an exchange program. There, he learned the fine art of paper cutting and Chinese calligraphy. Rogers says “The hardest part of learning Chinese art is the idea of 中 (balance). It is not just a way of making the art, but the manner in which you approach what you are doing.” While living abroad, he began exhibiting at major shows and teaching classes in a variety of art techniques.
The concept for the terra-cotta warriors came to Rogers organically in China. He recalls “…while at the site of the terra-cottas you could buy Coke, there were bobble head terra-cottas, and t-shirts, and even 3D art of the warriors. People were spending more time in the gift shop and food lounge than actually looking at the impressiveness of these warriors themselves.”
Rogers works in paper cutting, sculpture, painting, metal, clay, and more. He juggles these mediums simultaneously. He says “While I am waiting for the varnish or primer on one painting to dry and the clay to leather on a piece, I am also laying out designs for my found objects, drawing out plans for paper cuttings or designing ideas for public projects.” The common thread between all of his work is his Neo-Pop sensibility and his twist on combining traditional mediums with the overarching reach of consumerist culture and marketing.
On his website, Rogers prominently features a manifesto section. Manifestos were frequently written by groups of avant-garde artists to define their collective intentions. They are written less commonly today, yet Rogers has a well informed opinion of what he believes needs to change in the way artists perceive their role within the art market. “What I found sad is that artists no longer really control the movement of art. This is cautionary tale that POP art was meant to warn us about, and yet instead of questioning the art world, we have come to be labeled by it. In order for us to move forward we actually have to go back to when artists formed schools of thought and told the art world what the next movement was.”
Rogers’ internationally intriguing sculptures will be featured at SPARKBOOM‘s 2014 KICKOFF EVENT – “Beards, Bards and BOOM” on Saturday, June 21st, at The Walt Whitman Birthplace. For more info, visit sparkboom.org. RSVP to our FB event here.
To view more of Dave’s work, visit davesstudio.wordpress.com.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Caitlyn Shea is a professional fine art painter. She studied Studio Art and Art History at Pratt Institute and Skidmore College before graduating with a BFA from Adelphi University in 2011. Outside of her studio, Shea is captivated by the pluralism that exists in art today, and the ways in which individual artists define themselves and their practices in order to carve out a unique career. By interviewing participating SPARKBOOMTM artists, Shea looks to develop a dialogue between practicing artists and an audience that does not only include other art experts, but people who have a newfound urge to become involved in experiencing the work of fresh, exciting artists.