Portraits of Us
Artist Statement: I believe in creating artwork to enhance understanding: understanding of self, and of the world you live in. I also believe in creating work that abstracts the impersonal reality, and reconstructs it into something deeply personal. The use of art making as a form of therapy and self expression is far from foreign; the same can be said of the concept that art making is a fundamental human experience we all share. I view the creation of abstract self portraits as a safe and healthy coping mechanism in a sea of depersonalization. These notions, art as therapy and art being a connection to the intrinsically human, are where my creation builds from. My work is attempting to take what I see, what I feel, my perception of self and of the world around me and generate a piece of self portraiture, through abstract art making, writing and collaging, that reflects that.
I do not have an extensive visual artistic background. In my brief period as an actor/director, I would take my leads from the identification of characters— figures— and how they relate to myself, my ethics, and my emotions. These ideas of understanding character as well as the many art-historical examples of the individual as a subject are what inspire me to take up this format of painting. As well, my practice aims to rework the concept of the self-portrait into an abstract reflection of personal mythos and ethos rather than simply a physically realistic representation.
The way in which I go about portrait making is primal and spontaneous. I do not sketch a base to my figures, nor do I go about setting aside specific colors in which I will limit the pallet. Instead, I am led only by my right hand and my heart, allowing the first stages of underpainting to develop purely from instinct and emotional honesty rather than any particular predetermined concept. After the initial bottom layer is complete, a figure is placed atop where-in the position and stature is determined out of the shapes pre-created below. Recently in my work, I have been trying to combine text into the body of certain pieces in an attempt to bleed my sketchbook practice into my painted works. These are either short form phrases stolen from the real world or long form journaling, both of which are added to provide a sense of depth. A consistent figure-based concept, along with the honesty of abstraction and written word, allows an expressive capturing of the lived truth of a moment in time. A figure representing the vitality of the moment it was created in.
My hope is when experiencing my work both the emotional intensity as well as the drive to create is passed on to the viewer. Art making is a practice for everyone; there is no one who is bad at creating art. The act of art making requires no degree, educational background or years of training, as some would have you believe but instead requires a courageous right (or left) hand and the drive to create. In fact, art making is one of the most important tools in which you can deconstruct and understand yourself as a person, and comprehend the world in which you live. My longing is that others will see the mode in which I self-reflect, connect with it themselves, and go on to lead their own artistic practices and create more portraits of us, of all of us.
Artist Bio: Reed Godot, 22, is a nonbinary Kentucky-born artist originally from Louisville. Godot left Kentucky at the age of 17 to attend a year of intensive acting training at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts where they received their GED. After leaving North Carolina, Godot moved to Illinois to attend Chicago College of Performing Arts with a BFA in Acting. Godot left the university after the completion of two years of training, choosing instead to transfer to The Theatre School at DePaul where Godot briefly attended for a BFA in Theatre Directing. After dropping out of both institutions before graduation, Godot would go on to find a new found passion for the visual arts. They began both their painting and sketchbook practices in the summer of 2019. Godot, moved back to Kentucky in December of 2019, with their partner of 5 years, decided to focus intensively on the practice of self-care, and personal artistic discipline. Godot now has lived in Lexington for over a year and has found a piece of home, planning to one day return to Chicago and make a career of activism, community assistance, and art making.
Public Gallery Hours
Saturday 12pm - 5pm
Viewings also available by appointment
The Loudoun House
209 Castlewood Dr.
Lexington, Ky. 40505
All Lexington Art League programs are made possible through the generous support of LexArts.
The Kentucky Arts Council, a state arts agency, provides operating support to the Lexington Art League with state tax dollars and federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support provided by Lexington Parks & Recreation.