Scott Waters

From November 22nd to December 17th
Opening November 24th, 2006 from 7-10pm

“You Wanna Go? We'll Go!”, new paintings from York University MFA graduate Scott Waters marks his first exhibition with LE. The series of paintings reflects on experience learned through time served in the Canadian Forces. Exploring the underlying tension born out of ideas of brotherhood and fraternity, the work ties a realistic style of painting with a biographical view on a life from the center of a young storm. Also available will be The Hero, Book, published by Cumulus Press, visual and written memoir of Water's period within the Forces.

Artist's Statement

“Here is the reconstruction of a personal liminal phase – my transition between soldier-drunk and art school teetotaller. Most easily named as (anti)social realist paintings, they offer up a violent subculture, an ideal verging on the utopic. These depictions of fights, fraternity and getting pissed are a personal wallow in the deviant glory days of youth, masculinity and invulnerability.

A few steps shy of – or past – photography, these paintings insist upon their own construction. Flash-bulb lighting and shadows, stilted poses and garish colour field spaces emphasize the constructions of both paint and photo. Overtly staged nose chomping and neon orange cut-off jogging pants pay hommage to the flawed histories of photography (as a document of truth) and painting (as a means to transcendence). In short, perhaps these paintings act as, and refer to, propaganda.

Assembled here in pigment and plywood is flawed nostalgia, and so these interruptions are partially designed as a slap in my own face. They remind me of my own tendency to romanticize this past of drinking and fighting. Utopia is posthumous – a framing mechanism – and the chaos assembled here might have actually been little more than cart-wheeling nihilism.”

About the Hero Book

What started out as additional element of my MFA thesis project has, over the past 3 years, come to stand for a good portion of my life (at least the more interesting parts). Combining written memoir, snapshot photos and painted recreations, the book traces a disjointed path from my last few minutes as a civilian, through infantry school and my service in the Canadian Forces. Ending in the early months after my release from the military, it culminates with the essential question “what was that all about?”

The Hero Book is Published by Cumulus Press from Montreal and was recently launched there. While in Montreal I was Interviewed about the book by CBC radio. The Hero Book and the attendant paintings, will also be featured in the upcoming issue of Border Crossings magazine.