Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Steven Chapp's Crows Foretell a Tale of Doom

South Carolina's Steven Chapp has been making a series of prints that foretell a time and place of uncertainty and impending disaster. His personification of a crow and its re-occurence in his images equates to an observer witnessing a series of unraveling events. Chapp aptly creates a series of images that tell a story of man's demise, and the birds observation and bleak outlook upon the scenario.  

Chapp presents the crow watching people frantically running down country roads toward one another. It sees lights and flames falling from the sky, people ablaze, skeletons and all of it gives the viewer a general sense of mayhem. Chapp's crow uses stealth to navigate the events and remains a little out of harm's way, but the colors of the sky and red flames reflect upon the crow's black feathers and leave a residual psychological 'stain' from the exposure. "Stoic"(seen below) leads us to a foreboding feeling as something is amiss, and the crow senses trouble approaches. It looks to the sky as though it smells or has heard something strange.
Chapp creates an intimate view of the crow as it seeks shelter and safety from the doom about to befall it. His  small scale compositions accentuate feelings of dread and anxiety as there seems no where to hide or escape what's about the happen. 

Probably one of the more doomsday-esque images is called "Man on Fire", as seen below. 
Here the bird witnesses the burning man. It can do nothing to save the man, and it tries to keep a distance from the flames lest it become engulfed as well. But the yellow and red of the flames' intensity is transposed upon the bird and it feels the heat of fire. It's near-apocalyptic scene is ominous, and again, there is really no where to escape what's happening. All we can hope for is that a place of refuge will present itself, and soon.

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