“Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake.” Kurt Vonnegut
Seth Remsnyder began seriously painting in 1996 at the behest of his high school art teacher, Mr. Charles Acri. “Ack” as the kids sometimes called him would put Seth in the hallway with two talkative classmates for models, have him stretch a canvas and paint for the entirety of his art classes and study halls. The good teacher taught Seth to paint expressively and to avoid “worrying about likeness for now and to just paint.” And his soul grew. He then pursued his Bachelors Degree in the Fine Arts from the Pennsylvania School of Art and Design, graduating with the BFA in 2001. After a rather drawn out and confusing hiatus from painting after graduating college, in 2008 Seth began to paint again. It was in late 2009 that Seth began to experiment with the work that he is now involved with. Seth is now enrolled in the MFA program for painting at the Savannah College of Art and Design and working in the Automotive Restoration Industry. Seth is married and lives in Maryland with his wife and is a Dad to three little girls and one little boy in heaven. Seth’s hope is to continue painting come hell or high water and his utmost hope is that his soul will continue to grow.
The essential question that is driving the changes in my work over the past two to three years is this: “Why don’t we see what we’re supposed to see?” This has taken my work from painting on canvas to primarily spray painting on metal signs to creating actual signage to be installed in public. I’ve asked some deeper questions around that essential question above: Could it be that we’ve lost, as a society, something of our value for taking notice of the important realities around us? What role can painting play in re-establishing that value? This work intends to act as a commentary on that question both indoors and out. In the end, this work is important to me because it is a commentary on what we see, and perhaps, why we see what we see. Lines have made up the motif of my paintings for several years now. My continued work with lines in my painting has pulled some inspiration from the linear visual language of road signs. Some are confusing, some elegant, some geometric, all are very important. They are lines we absolutely need to see. And yet these signs and the linear, visual-language found exalted on them are often overlooked or ignored. These works double as an artistic intervention playing off of the idea of signage. What if the public were confronted with serious abstract art in their daily commute? Could it help them pay more attention to their surroundings? My work intends to interact with that question directly; not by virtue of the content of the work for that is a visual play on an already established visual language, the allusion is as metaphysical as it is physical. I don’t intend to tell the viewer how to think. I intend to show the paintings in a form that they are already familiar with to see if they will make those connections.