Artist's Statement

Why clown paintings?

Clown paintings are not the most serious endeavor that an artist can take on. In fact, clown paintings can be found at malls, thrift stores and "starving artist" sales all over the country.

That being said, I take clown paintings seriously. (Insert giggle here)

The clown is a metaphor. He is the sad hobo, he is the everyman. He is an exaggerated figure, whose bright clothing, wild gestures, and outlandish antics mirror the actions and qualities found within the viewer. In my paintings, the clown serves as the protagonist. In him, one sees the way in which we, as human beings, shift roles from sometimes victim to sometimes aggressor.

The skeleton serves as the antagonist. Metaphorically, the skeleton serves on many levels. He is mortality, he is the ever present obstacle, and at times, he is the thing that goes bump in the night.

The juxtaposition of the clown and skeleton becomes the heart of these paintings. In some ways, they are two sides of the same coin. At varying times, they are combatants, allies, and victims. However, just when you think you've got it figured out, you notice that the clown figure is hiding behind the mask, while the skeleton is exposed leading to further, and possibly more sinister, interpretations.

Todd Gardner