With NoDa's studio crawl approaching on May 4th, it's only fitting that recent UNC-Wilmington graduate and artist Scott Queen participate. He's only been living in Charlotte for a few months, but his art studio is in the heart of the neighborhood. Inside you'll find contemporary paintings, as well as sculptures that've been constructed by found objects. Home to a modest collection of records, the studio also shelters a friendly, inquisitive dog. Extras during this stop on the tour include wine and a spoken word performance by Stephen Mikko. Creative Loafing talked with Queen about the works displayed in his studio.
Creative Loafing: You use a lot of intertwining shapes and surreal, ghoulish images. What do these images represent to you?
Scott Queen: I wouldn't say my art is ghoulish. It does tend to illustrate the darker side of things though. This particular project was a three-piece ("Hero," "Damsel," and "Villan"), but the third piece has actually been sold. It was based on this idea of a relationship, between a girl and a man. They're happy together and then they're really sad. That's the one I call "Hero." It shows a sort of pristine kind of person with ice-blue eyes. He's really strong, knows who he is, and that's how the two people first meet. You kind of see a person and when you meet them you see this polished kind of thing.
Then you get to know them and that's where this comes along, it's almost like there's a guy inside of it. He's also being tortured and I call this one "Villan." In this one, it's almost like he doesn't have any control over his bad sides. It's like in some ways we aren't always able to control the worst side of us, but we are sort of able to make our own good side. So this whole idea is a game that we play with ourselves by not finding a balance between the two.
What is your favorite piece that you've created?
I would say this is my favorite piece, but it's one I've done recently. It was part of my senior thesis. It's called "Suppose We Figure it Out." It was a project that me and my professor worked on a lot. I researched something called the vorticists, a British movement that came up right about the same time as surrealism and abstraction. It was very short-lived, but they were very similar to the concepts and ideas that we were working on, so it was a discovery of things I never questioned before that brought a lot of personal meaning to the piece. I guess up to this point, it feels like it's one of my stronger pieces. It helps me explore the extent of all of my talents. It too very physical and hard labor to complete: leaning over it, chipping out the wood, using different types of machines, failing miserably and having to start over. The top surface was done five or six times and in the end that's what makes it beautiful to me. It's that whole process of failing and accomplishing and failing accomplishing, this pushing of depth and shallowness and back and forth. I was worked hard on it.