Knoxville, TN | Mixed Media, Photography
David Underwood is a Professor of Art and a former Art Department Chairperson at Carson-Newman University, in Jefferson City, Tennessee. His work is included in the permanent collections of 16 art museums, including the Knoxville Museum of Art and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. His work has been featured or included in more than 150 solo and group exhibitions around the USA and Europe. Underwood earned his MFA from Florida State University in 1990, and started teaching Photography and Art at Carson-Newman the same year.
My current series of mixed-media, Image/Text artworks are intended to invite open interpretations of meaning from each individual viewer. Each artwork’s title is included as actual readable text within the artwork itself, leading the viewer to infer content in guided, yet also in somewhat intentionally ambiguous paths. This text is imbedded within assemblages of my own original photography, accompanied by painting, drawing, and/or collage. These component photographs and images are not intended to be literal illustrations of the text, but rather are intended as auxiliary gateways to personal interpretations for the viewer.
In some of these mixed-media artworks, the photographs are different images I shot of the same subject at the same time, to reveal various aspects or perspectives of the the subject. More often, however, I combine photographs of different subjects, shot perhaps many miles and many years apart, and the reasons for these combinations may be aesthetic, composition, or content related. I use a variety of photographic materials, including analog, digital, and alternative/historical methods. The text titles within the artworks are applied by a variety of methods and materials, including hand-painting, applying dimensional plastic lettering, stenciling, or inking with individual letter forms. Lately I have also enjoyed incorporating physical objects into my assemblages, such as antique cameras, found objects, or tools.