"Piñata Repair Island By Plane"
22x26in. Mixed Media
When visiting the UNT printmaking department back in 2010, I would often find Adam Palmer hard at work preparing screens for printing. I would talk to him about drawing, because he also worked with pens and markers as did I. His work at the time was moving from a more cartoon style, similar to the Chicago Imagist movement, to just shapes and colors. His use of color, however, managed to maintain the animated quality without pointing directly to particular content.
We haven’t talked much since grad school, only social media check-ins, but I have been keeping up with his work. I was incredibly excited to see his strange little toy objects made of plastic at Circuit 12 Contemporary’s Primer store. These little creatures and plants are crazy colorful, and appear to be made from cheap plastic material. I don’t know if he makes his own models or has just Frankenstein's monstered them together, but they are hilariously fun little sculptures.
Palmer is also closing a show this Saturday at the Art Corridor of Tarrant County College Southeast. This show features a colorful array of drawings and prints. To put it in music genre terms, his work is a bit disco meets glam rock with maybe a hint of punk. I am sure some might even see the 1960’s psychedelic musical as possible influence, including those posters by Victor Moscoso. However he personally hold Prince and New Wave musicians in the highest esteem in relationship to his work. I also find his colors quite attractive, because his colors remind me of just about any artist in this year’s show titled Cult of Color at Circuit 12. Even artists like Bradley Kerl, Alika Herreshoff, and Angel Oloshove from Circuit 12’s show titled Hot and Wet feel similar to Palmer in aesthetic color and attitude. You get the feeling Palmer is interested in the dialogue between low and high art. I think this is because he describes his influences as coming from the pop culture of cable cartoons and pop music of his childhood, but Palmer does something that for me is pretty bold.
In school, I was told over and over again, that artists should keep a book and fill it with images and other things of interest. I have a disorganized source I draw upon to build my aesthetic language, but Palmer has his influences laid out on his webpage. This is rare to find in an artist, and I wish more artists would place their sources of inspiration out on display as Palmer has so boldly put forth. Check out his site, and if you can, his show at Tarrant County College Southeast before it closes this Saturday. If you can’t I am sure his work will be popping up again real soon.