Conor Backman, Cold as the Rockies After the Adventure, 2010, Oil on Canvas, 8 x 10 x 5 inches, 2009
Offering a different take on work like Toni Matelli’s bronze beer cans, Conor Backman makes trompe l’oile landscape paintings from used beer boxes. He removes all non-landscape imagery and text from the source material, stretches canvas over the surface and hangs the completed boxes on the wall. The work can be read as a commentary on the commodification of art, though mixing the high and low is at this point well charted territory. More interesting is the artist’s sincere interest in the tradition of landscape painting and Bob Ross. The great public access star would be proud.
Conor Backman lives and works in Richmond VA. Backman is also co-owner of REFERENCE Art Gallery, a newly formed artist-run space in downtown Richmond that focuses on exhibiting young emerging artists from around the world that are working in new media.