Sean Foley has constructed
and painted a diorama of his own working methods through critical
excursions into the history of painting, cryptozoology, and the
grotesque via taxonomies and perception. His work is often referred
to as a curiosity cabinet of art history, imagery, and pop sensibilities.
In his project he literally creates, in the real space of the
museum, a curiosity cabinet of the conventions and expectations
of painting and its subjects, such as bestiaries, menagerie paintings,
and the "untamed" wilderness as other and unknown.
The Installation is
a kind of compound "menagerie – history – painting - diorama.
My sources range from Edward Hicks, Medieval Bestiaries, 16th
Cabinets of Wonder, Arcimboldo, P.T. Barnum’s American Museum,
natural history dioramas, and the birth of the Zoological Gardens
in the 19th century. My conceptual strategies for generating
this type of hybrid imagery and organizing the installation are
through the concepts of the carnivalesque, grotesque, and monstrous.
I am interested in animals, creatures, and monsters because of
our tendencies to anthropomorphize them, which I feel is a powerful
representational tool for the visual arts.