Kyle Saxton

Artist Statement: I see my illustrations as critical inventories on the view of cultural abstraction. In this series titled “Arabian” I study the importance of the Arabian horse in middle eastern cultures. The combination of realistic elements and abstract shapes blends the mythological origins of the horse and the western influence of the future.

On Wed, Sep 12, 2012 at 12:08 PM, Pulse VCU <pulse.vcu@gmail.com> wrote:

Hello Kyle,

Thanks for your submission. I’m curious about some parts of your artist statement. Would you mind responding to the below questions? I’d like to publish your responses to them alongside your images and the artist statement you provided.

Below is our Q&A:

Pulse (P): How are the myths of the arabian horse connected to middle eastern culture? Why is this something you are investigating through drawing?

Kyle Saxton (KS): Arabian Horses symbolize a distinctive national identity for middle eastern countries, because that particular breed of horse is based in that area of the Eastern Hemisphere. I am exploring this subject through drawing because a client named Wael Al-Eid hired me to create a series of drawings and paintings for him over the summer as a commission. His nationality is half Saudi Arabian half American. He also rides for the VCU team, and requested artwork based around the beauty and elegance of the Arabian horse.

P: How do you define cultural abstraction?

KS: Cultural abstraction meaning that the horses are drawn in a realistic approach, while the abstract shapes distort the overall figure of the subject.

P: When you say middle eastern cultures, do you mean every culture geographically situated in the middle east?

KS: Specifically Saudi Arabia

P: How are Arabian horses important?

KS: To highlight the Arabian horses importance I asked my client, who responded with common phrase among his people, which goes “An Arabian will take care of its owner as no other horse will, for it has not only been raised to physical perfection, but has been instilled with a spirit of loyalty unparalleled by that of any other breed.” They are know as the “horse of the desert.”

P: How do “realistic elements” reference the mythical origins of the horse?

KS: It is necessary to represent the beauty of the Arabian horse as accurately as possible. When dealing with such a majestic animal you have to do it justice by precisely drawing every detail, and pay close attention to light, form, and value.

P: What are the mythical origins of Arabian horses?

KS: I am unfamiliar with the exact origins of the Arabian horse, but I do know that the origins of the Arabian horse are still preserved through close breeding techniques (meaning pure breeds).

P: How are abstract shapes referential of the west?

KS: The abstract shapes that you see are reminiscent of my style of drawing. I was born in America and the shapes that I use are a result of my upbringing as an artist.

P: Does only the west think of the future and what is your idea of this future?

KS: Every culture thinks of the future. I saw the abstract shapes as a way of playing with reality, in which the future is represented through minimalistic line work. Because the horses are representational the abstract shapes add depth and creative elements to the overall composition.

P: What is the audience you are hoping to address with these images?

KS: I hope to address all audiences across a large spectrum of artists, collaborators, horse enthusiasts, and the general student body.


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