Sounds Like a Bus..., 2011
oil on canvas
48 x 60 inches
Sounds like a bus? There is a certain dread in the air, a rumbling off in the distance. The noise, if you can call it that, sounds like a bus. What it is depends on who you are, how you think, and what you chose to see. This odd formulation, freighting an everyday sound with foreboding, seems apt given that the evidence is clear: Things are about to change.
In this new body of work, both humans and animals are distressed. Figures are marred and scraped across. Birds, an early warning-system of approaching danger, are troubled and alert. They are articulate in form but clearly destabilized. Circles run through many of the paintings, suggesting momentum shifts, emotional turmoil, and the planet itself. Lines buttress the action and increase the tension in the work. The lines are like prison bars for both the human and animal figures. No one has done anything, and perhaps that is the point. Some circles imply an empty, thoughtless, spinning. Some provide no movement at all, in essence, altogether the same thing. In one painting, a penguin-like bird appears to be clutching a surfboard, it’s implied he’s leaving, and the ramifications of this act are unsettling. Yes, it sounds like a bus…
Robert Moeller is both a writer and painter. His writing about art has appeared in numerous publications including, AfterImage, Artnet, Big Red and Shiny, and Art New England. His artwork has appeared in many group and solo exhibitions.