January 7 – February 20, 2010
Thursday, January 7, 2010
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
ClampArt is pleased to announce “The Birthday Party,” Scott Daniel Ellison’s second solo exhibition at the gallery.
The artist’s earlier work largely focused on animals that Ellison had seen firsthand on excursions over the course of his life. From skunks and sloths to opossums and ocelots, Ellison’s creatures spanned the wild species. While occasional vampires, werewolves, and beautiful young women would enter the mix, Ellison, for the most part, concentrated his efforts on the depiction of quirky animals.
From 2008 to 2010, Ellison’s paintings generally grew larger (up to 14 x 18 inches), and he veered more toward his macabre subject matter. Inspired by Scandinavian folk art he admired while living in Sweden, along with obscure horror films, grisly tales, recurrent fears, and popular music (Ellison is also a recording artist), the darkly humorous works are sparse and enigmatic, suggesting but never completely offering extended narratives.
Originally trained as a photographer at Purchase College and then the International Center for Photography, Ellison cites Diane Arbus and Ralph Eugene Meatyard as other major influences, which is apparent in the deadpan compositions of his earlier animal portraits and the mood of many of the newer pieces.