Oscar Maynard

I am a Carolina-born queer southern butch boi, free-lance activist and artist currently settled in the Bay Area. I attended Antioch College and majored in Art/Psych/Gender Studies began and will graduate with an M.F.A in printmaking from SFAI in Spring 2013. Since 2006, stenciling has been my primary medium with a background in drawing, painting and photo. I am invested in social justice movements, accountability and direct communication and these passions are woven into the work. Conceptually, I am drawn to mapping narrative onto place, bodies, and cultural iconography. Narrative resonates with me because I am rooted in a Southern US cultural tradition of story-telling. I am eager to do work that ties history to location, and restores meaning to words or images that have evolved beyond their historical context or original meaning.

This body of work is about mapping the urban body. It begins with a series of mill village paper cuts which map urban bodies- positioning closed textile mills as no longer functioning organs within a still living town. These works use the organic language of vein, capillary and organ mapped onto systems of transportation, production, labor and the domestic. The shotgun houses built by the mill still provide infrastructure, some container for the life of the of the town, even after the organ of the mill has ceased to function. These old mill villages are also where I learned class growing up. I learned the smell, shape, texture of class in those villages. In later years I learned about the mutability of class, a topic that deserves its own mapping.

As I began to think more about where capitalism has us direct our energy, I remembered that Beets and Chard are very closely related. One plant puts most of its energy in the roots system and the other in the leaves. For me, making these plants is about rediscovering agency and power, choosing where our energy goes, creating a whole and functional system.

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