Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Between Civilization and Nature: Bill Zorn

Bill Zorn, Tulsa
Bill Zorn, On the Fence, Mixed Media-Fabric, print, paint, 24 x 12" 
What was your concepts and inspiration for these pieces?
I am interested in life and death and the potential for immortality through art. Some animals are preserved as trophies, or memorials, while others are swept to the side of the road. As the freeway expands, the wilderness deflates. As society moves faster, distractions grow denser, and the thought of death can be neglected. Humans have made a culture of attempting to overcome nature, and the primal nature within themselves. My work investigates humanity’s curiosity and drive to collect life, or it’s husk, while confronting society’s silence and disregard for “civilization’s” debilitating effect on nature.

Wolves being hunted and hung as trophies and “pest deterrent” inspired On the Fence. As we encroach on their habitat, wolves hunt livestock and threaten farmer’s herds. Historically, farmers would raise campaigns to eradicate the ‘pest.’ They would hang their kills on their fences as a warning to other wolves. The hanging wolves were also thought a message for surrounding farmers that wolves preyed nearby and killed livestock. While it is hard to argue against a farmer’s livelihood, the situation is a problem humanity has created. My work investigates the shifting equilibrium between civilization and nature.

Please explain the technique and/or process you used to create your Momentum work.
Mixed media constructions support the idea of nature’s layers. Similar to an animal’s layers of fur, skin, and bone, fabric is printed and painted, gutted and turned inside out to reveal the most repulsive and intimate spaces and events. Collage allows the work to come together while still maintaining conflict, bringing both harmony and juxtaposition to the surface.

Where else can audiences see your artwork?
My thesis show, Do Not Resuscitate, will open February 28,- March 28, 2013 at the University of Tulsa, Phillips Hall, Alexandre Houge Gallery.

My work can be seen on my website,

This artwork will appear in Momentum OKC, opening March 1 & 2 at the 50 Penn Place in Oklahoma City. View, experience and purchase art by Oklahoma emerging young artists. Learn more at

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