We Don’t Need Those Men No More | Various Soft & Hardwoods, Paint | 50" x 12" x 8", Repositionable | 2016
We Don’t Need Those Men No More (Detail) | Various Soft & Hardwoods, Paint | 50" x 12" x 8", Repositionable | 2016
Artist Statement: My work depicts the rural milieu of yard sale trinkets, fallen barns, jokes, family, and community. We Don’t Need Those Men No More reflects the provisional, make-do aesthetic employed by everyday, small-town people in their attempts to repair, mend, or otherwise improve their physical surroundings. The well-worn mechanical arm references discarded construction equipment, resigned to rust upon the completion of its duty—we can’t afford to fix it, but we can’t afford to throw it away. I build with my hands, I rearrange, and I destroy. Found materials, hand-wrought whatnots, and the high and low extremes of craftsmanship are of historical and geographical importance to me. I embrace folk and contemporary craft aesthetics in order to construct my own particular flavor of nostalgic pseudo-primitivism. The sculptures become physical manifestations of memories, rumors, and tall tales cobbled together with scraps of discarded wood and the abrasions of rich history.
Kevin Mercer is an artist and writer currently living in Texas. He studied drawing and painting at Western Illinois University where he received the University Gallery Purchase Award. Mercer then earned an MFA degree from The Pennsylvania State University where he received the prestigious Gerald Davis Painting Prize. Kevin has shown in cities such as Brooklyn, Chicago, Cincinnati, Manhattan, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Portland. His written works have been published with Alebrijes Literature and United Projects. In addition to his personal work, Mercer is developing an interdisciplinary, collaborative project, titled Bubblegum & Whiskey, with fellow artist, Sarah Swist. Kevin Mercer is currently an Assistant Professor and the Galleries Manager at Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi where he continues to tell stories through painting, self-taught woodworking, and writing.