Neil Powell
Medium: Collage and Mixed Media

Studio Location:
489 3rd Ave
Studio # Storefront Right

Email: neil@neilpowell.com

Website:: neilpowell.com

Artist Bio:
Neil grew up on pig farm in rural Western Kentucky. It was there he developed a deep appreciation for the hand-made--whether while watching his father weave cane baskets or his grandmother crochet quilts, he realized the hands are wonderful tool for creating. From there he went on to get his BFA from the University of Kentucky where he studied graphic design and book binding. For twenty years, Neil created award winning design and advertising communications for many of the worlds largest brands. His work has been recognized nationally and internationally, and is in the permanent collection of The Smithsonian Institute's Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum. Now, Neil works full time as an artist. His life-long obsession with old books led to his discovery of them as a unique art medium. Most of the books used in his art are damaged, tattered and torn, discarded and banished to the $1 shelf or garage bin. Neil, however, sees these books as little gems. Many have covers that were created with production processes that are no longer in practice. Most carry a heavy patina from all those years passing through multiple owner's hands. In some ways, Neil sees his art as a way to rescue these books from destruction, giving them a second life in a different context to a new audience. Conceptually, his work explores new social, cultural, and political narratives through themes of relatedness and identity. By juxtaposing the new and the old???new art from old book covers???voices across time speak to one another, thereby opening avenues toward meaning. He encourages the visitor to enter a disparate world of language, typography, and illustration styles that captures the eye and demands it to move back and forth among layers looking for signals, signs and clues. He aims for his art to culminate in a visual treatise on the recycling and renewal of popular culture. Neil lives and works in New York City and The Catskill Mountains.

Artist Statement:
Working in the medium of old, discarded book covers, my work explores new social, cultural, and political narratives through themes of relatedness and identity. By juxtaposing the new and the old--new art from old materials--voices across time speak to one another, thereby opening avenues toward meaning. I like the visitor to enter a disparate world of language, typography, and illustration styles that captures the eye and demands it to move back and forth among layers looking for signals, signs and clues. I aim for my art to culminate in a visual treatise on the recycling and renewal of popular culture.




All images and text copyright Neil Powell