Russell Crotty is an internationally recognized artist known for his astronomical and surf-inspired draftsmanship in various large-scale formats. Presenting new multimedia works with a Surrealist bent, this new body of work features Crotty’s coronagraph series as well as his imagined martian landscapes. Rendered in interesting materials that are firmly grounded in organic materials, Crotty’s aesthetic depicts an unearthly, preternatural world of the future.
Crotty’s new body of work references early art movements such as Surrealism, Finish Fetish from the 1960s, process experimentation from the 1970s, Modernism and retro Sci-Fi. His process begins with works on paper, drawn with sticks dipped in ink (with a nod to Matisse), then overlaid with 3-dimensional plastic, fiberglass and tinted bio-resin, which he started experimenting with about six years ago. Derived from pine sap, bio-resin is a safer and eco-friendly alternative to petroleum-based resins, and, in the artist’s words, “holds color really nicely.” Smaller drawings and found plastics are embedded in these materials, forming distorted views of both terrestrial and alien formations. The structures of habitats, outposts, landers, and piers float in the seductive bio-resin color fields; suggesting strange atmospheres and landscapes.
Russell Crotty has exhibited both nationally and internationally. Notable recent solo shows include Look Back in Time at the San José Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) and Peidre la Nuit (Painting the Night) at the Centre Pompidou-Metz. The Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) hosted his first solo museum show on the east coast in 2004. His work is included in the permanent collections of major institutions including the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; MoMA, New York; MOCA, Los Angeles; LACMA, Los Angeles; and the Princeton University Art Museum. In 2007 he was commissioned to create a site-specific installation of globe drawings for the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China, and became a Guggenheim Fellow in 2015. The artist currently lives in Ojai and works in Ventura, California.