Floyd D. Tunson
An exhibit of works echoing esthetic among eclectic media.
When I was four years old watching my older brother draw, I thought what he was doing was magic, and that’s what I wanted to do – make magic. Since then, art has consumed my life. The upshot of this obsession is that I’m comfortable, truly comfortable, only when I’m in the studio solving conceptual and logistical problems. Eclecticism means these challenges are infinite, since I work in photography, drawing, painting, mixed media, sculpture, and installation. But despite the variety of media and modes, a consistent esthetic echoes among them.
I’ve studied at the University of Colorado, Parsons School of Design, University of Denver, and earned an MA Degree from Adams State College. Since my solo show at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center in 1974, I’ve shown extensively in the region and was fortunate to be given a 40-year retrospective, Son of Pop, at the FAC-CC in 2012-13 and to be selected for a solo show to celebrate the opening of the Marie Walsh Sharpe Gallery at the Ent Center for the Arts in 2018. I’m currently collaborating with a musician and poet on an arts-immersion project called Endangered.
Regarding my paintings, it’s often the case that I take a series as far as it seems to want to go and then switch to a different mode. While I work from a theme-with-echoing variations concept, I want these variations to be more than mere repetitions. Each piece should stand on its own.
The Arrow pieces grew from my equal love of precise form and symbolic ambiguity. We all experience uncertainty about whether we’re coming or going and whether a certain way is right or whether it’s wrong. There’s also the fear but adventure of imagining where each path might lead.
After the Arrows and the geometric series Untitled 172-174, I was eager to loosen up. I’m always enchanted by the drawings of children – their uninhibited imagination. When I saw dozens of paintings my two-year-old grandson created, I thought, well, damn, I’d better get busy. Hoping to echo the freshness of his work, I went on a painting binge, as you see represented on the walls of this gallery. My grandson is Seneca, but he can’t yet quite enunciate his name, so he calls himself “Eta”; hence, my Chasing Eta series.
Sometimes a subject I’ve photographed strikes me as a good candidate for a cyanotype or gum print. So then I start the precarious process – precarious because of the sensitive nature of the chemicals and the relative intensity of the sun. It’s on the roof of my building that I place the prints for the sun to catalyze completion of the print. Much of what I love about this process is that no two prints of the same image can be identical, because too many variables are in play.
Basically, what matters to me is that I use my artistic gift as fully and as intelligently as I possibly can.