|"Reflections" oil on canvas 62.5" x 70.5" 2013|
|"New Growth" oil on canvas 18.5" x 24.5" 2012|
|"Abandoned Hydro Plant - White River Falls" oil on canvas 66.5" x 66.5" 2013|
Roll Hardy will be showing some new work in April right here in Portland, Oregon. So for a rare treat I get to go and see some of the actual art that I post here. His paintings invariably focus on rundown industrial scenes, abandoned buildings and other little seen and less noticed sides of the urban/industrial landscape. There are plenty of artists out there documenting similar accounts of urban decay. But unlike most of them, Roll hardy seems less concerned with making direct environmental commentary or implications of society's slow collapse, than simply appreciating their visual allure. He seems to enjoy the bright hues of graffiti and the abstract expressionist quality of strewn trash. He occasionally adds brightly colored balloons or other touches of whimsy, as if to redirect our response to such scenes. In this way it is possible to re-imagine what we usually think of as eyesores, as places full of fascination. I myself have sometimes wondered if it wouldn't be rather interesting to take some debris littered derelict urban location and simply preserve it as is, with every weather beaten mattress and old tire in place, as a kind of park, allowing nature to slowly, methodically and inevitably reclaim what people once abandoned, for the enjoyment and edification of those very same people.
His show opens this Thursday (April 4) at Laura Russo Gallery.
You can see more of his work at rollhardy.com