Donald Fodness’ art explores both the humorous and the grotesque in humanity. In his artwork, Fodness incorporates pop culture elements, working in sculpture, drawing, mixed-media assemblage, and site-specific installation, which often include cartoon-like qualities with conversation bubbles and “moon” eyes. Some artworks have titles that use text messaging language - “leet speak” - that shortens words into letters or acronyms and is common in our post-internet era. His drawings touch more on what can be considered humorously grotesque, often including eyeballs, dripping liquids, and substances that you would not want to touch. Fodness shares:
“Like the Internet, and a good soap opera, my art provides the viewer with a multiplicity of accessible inlets and subnarrative paths weaving a tangled cosmos. Crawling over, climbing out, hiding within, defacing and digesting its surroundings; these psychological environments filter culture through a feedback loop of the kitsch and banal to surface a grotesque comedy.”
Fodness’ assemblage Swag Emission “is a multi-tool that explores absurdity, functionality, complexity, and the artist’s personal narrative. It functions as a gun rack, lamp, phone charger/party station, vase, necklace rack, mirror, storage container, savings center, and altar/memorial. The collected sources range from found detritus, store bought consumer goods, and personal objects.”
Materials: Bondo, plastic resin, acrylic paint, spray paint, mannequin arms, steel, birch plywood, Lee brand flannel shirt (worn by the artist), boa, pheasant feathers, fake glitter peacock feathers, fake glitter leaves, fake flowers, flower, plexiglass, plaster, belt, felt, 20 gage shotgun, lenticular photograph in metal frame with printed wood finish, faux wood grain tape, led lamp, beer lamp, disco balls, blouse, concrete, wire, baked resin lips, netted fingerless gloves, magnets, thumbtacks, plastic eyes, superglue, star weight, mason string, eyelets, screws, marker, gesso, electrical chords, auxiliary jack, wigs, speakers, fuzzy dice, motorcycle mirror.
Fodness earned a BA degree in Art History from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and an MFA in Painting from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Fodness has an interdisciplinary practice that includes drawing, sculpture, furniture and installation. His drawings have been exhibited nationally and internationally. Regionally he has created site specific installations for the Denver Art Museum, The Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, The Gallery of Contemporary Art in Colorado Springs, two Biennial of the Americas, and Harmony Hammond’s Material Engagements at Redline. His work has been published in New American Paintings, Sculpture Magazine, Yahoo home page, Found Magazine, The Creators Project, and art LTD.Fodness is an active community member, curator, and collaborator with The Flying OHNO Twins and The DMB Collective.
Fodness co-founded Showpen Residency, is a founding member of Hyperlink Collective, is an Artnaut, and a member of Tank Studios. He served as an educator at the college level for nearly a decade at various institutions including University of Denver, Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, and Metro State University of Denver. He currently lives and works in Denver, Colorado.
GOCA’s first exhibition of the 2018-19 season, Collectivity, will investigate points of connection between artists from two significant artist collectives based out of the Western United States – Hyperlink (Colorado) and Durden & Ray (Los Angeles) in concurrent exhibits across two states.