The most vivid memory in my life never happened. As a child, I ran through a sunburnt New Mexico thicket punctured by a golden purple sunset backdrop. I carried this picturesque moment with me into my adulthood. One day my mom told me that we had never been to New Mexico.
My work is about the noise and confusion of recollection at its most unstable, specifically the way memory can be aggregated, reassembled, borrowed and shuffled into a biography. My work seeks to function as memory - construction of residue, linking bits and pieces of faded or imagined moments, into pseudo-memories, which then become integral histories and inform self-image. In this way I like to imagine the mind can often work like an imperfect digital cache; this informs the cut/copy/paste abstractive nature of my work. I meld figures into fantastical natural stages that seem real but are abstract and synthetic. In my paintings, drawings, and videos, I am after moments of wonder, humor, and honesty;-- transcendent Rosseau-ian lands, compromised by shifting environments, visual foils, memory blocks, and deadpan beer cans.
Hailing from the Midwest, Russell Shoemaker received his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute. Before attending the University of Connecticut, Shoemaker began his MFA at California College of the Arts in San Francisco. He returned to Kansas City for a year residency at the Charlotte Street Foundation's Urban Culture Project. Shoemaker has exhibited nationally in both solo and group shows as well as art fairs such as Scope. His work is included in numerous private collections and in the collection of the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art.