In the work of Adrian Cox, a child’s woodland fantasy is turned upside-down and shoved out of the way for drug-induced reverie. The Georgia-born artist describes his work as “mythology…to speak to a contemporary human experience” incorporating a detailed level of elegance to his depiction of mutant creatures, whose skins glisten with candy-colored protrusions and waxy botanical growths. The bulbous creatures are part fantastical, part gruesome, never wearing proper facial designs of eyes and mouth to read their expressions—though at times the characters will pick up a quill pen to write something, as faceless bizarre creatures do.
Cox chooses frank names for his characters such as “Painter” and “Big Thinker,” a decision that opens up interpretations to his audience, who can choose to either marvel at the misshapen nature of Cox’s characters or consider the unique pursuits of some odd-looking hobbyists.
In the artist’s tableaus featuring the “Big Thinkers,” the viewer catches a pair of friends pouring over texts of philosophy, while two other amicable-looking figures pour over a map of the stars, as the “Big Dreamers.”
“I want to challenge the idea of Natural Law, the notion that there is a correct and pure way to be a human being in the world; this concept marginalizes any way of living that deviates from societal norms,” Cox tells The Creators Project about the motivations behind his works.
“This is far from an abstract conceptual interest for me,” Cox explains, “as I grew up in a closeted household with a transgendered parent. So while I'm speaking to these issues through the filter of fiction, there's still an urgency that I feel around the work that I make. These paintings create an ‘Arcadia for the Other,’ for creatures with fluid identities, a space where the language of difference breaks down.”
To see more from Adrian Cox, visit his artist website, here.