My interest in humanity's legacy of leaving marks on walls began as a child looking at pictures of petroglyphs from the American Southwest. Through these ancient depictions, I dreamed my days away mentally visiting these realms of the past and wondering what their lives must have been like. My interest grew throughout adolescence prompting me to pursue my inquiry further, eventually leading to studying anthropology in college where I analyzed this pictorial phenomena in ancient cultural traditions and was fascinated by the diverse variety of these symbols and their universal graphic language. Captivated by their ability to communicate so efficiently, given their simplicity, I was prompted to look for a modern interpretation and found it in graffiti. Often overlooked, hated, and misunderstood, these colorful depictions are merely an extension from the classic tradition of people attempting to communicate the complexity and challenges facing them in their ever changing world by putting marks on walls.
The Reflections Series, as an abstract construction of paint and decay within the urban landscape, draws the viewer into a world of symbolism allowing a new interpretation each time the work is viewed. Transcending the limitations of verbal communication in all its varied forms, symbolism is the universal language and connects the traditions of the past with those of today continuing the legend of this rich visual history of painting on walls.
Thank you for taking a moment to review this portfolio and allowing me to share my personal vision with you.
All images copyright 2019 Byron M. O'Neal.