Modern art can confuse even the most educated of Western culture.
It very rarely moves something within the viewer to nod in understanding or feel the remnants of the emotion or idea that the artist is trying to convey.
The feeling that a canvas with simply a black dot on a white background should not be considered art is mutual for many. However, as it is with all things, the unexpected can arise.
The artist Trevor Hershey is not one to conform to the belief that all modern art is convoluted and mind twisting.
“My artwork is a confluence of several things that I have and affinity for, Aboriginal Australian art, abstract expressionism, maps, primitivism, and symbolism. My work allows me to explore issues of our civilization as it becomes more and more separated from the web of life or nature,” Hershey said.
Hershey’s work is that of which I have never experienced before. His use of texture and color is mesmerizing.
His combination of old art with the abstract allows his pieces to feel less modern and more earthbound and purely expressive.
Most of Hershey’s works are Aboriginally inspired. All of which are what he calls “dot paintings.”
“The process of making a dot is highly meditive and allows for deep reflection on any number of subjects,” he said.
He focuses on things that an Aborigine would such as homeland, ancestral beings, family and the web of life.
The piece that I was most impressed by was his own self portrait.
The portrait is mask-like. It is like this because Hershey believes that one’s contemporary life masks one’s true, primitive being.
The painting is stylistic and is the first thing that one’s eyes are attracted to.
This self-portrait and 46 other pieces by Hershey are now on display in the Sykes Gallery of Briedenstine Hall in an exhibit appropriately entitled “Looking Back: Moving Forward.”
Hershey graduated from James Madison University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Art as well as a Master’s degree in education our very own Millersville University.
Hershey teaches art in the Ephrata Area School District and has been for 16 years. Hershey has also exhibited in solo and group shows in Virginia and Pennsylvania.
Hershey’s modern art is not the type that one observes and in the very same instant feels confused and frustrated and immediately moves on.
His art is something to be experienced, touched even.
“Maybe the theorists of primitivism…had it right thinking that life was better and more moral during the early stages of mankind and has deteriorated with civilization” Hershey said.