Robert Sherer: The Buddy System, pyrography/wood stains/veneer, 24.5 x 21.5 inches
American Pyrography (1999-present)
"My wood-burnings are mostly autobiographical, but a few are pure fantasy. Memories of my youth draw upon classic 1960s illustrations; thus I find them useful sources for my art. The result is a mixture of appropriation, parody, and nostalgia. I purposely use well-known camp craft materials and techniques to add to their authentic period flavor. Lines are burned onto sheets of maple veneer with an electric wood-burning tool, and the color is applied with various wood stains.
The intent of the series is not simply kitsch nostalgia but rather an attempt to unearth from memory those pivotal moments when the natural love between men challenges and disrupts the social schema of male competition. I create scenes that, while often humorous, can be interpreted as either sexually charged or perfectly innocent. Ultimately, I want to demonstrate that same-sex relationships are wholesome, healthy, life-affirming, or even patriotic. I also hope that these works will help viewers to reconnect with their own youth.” - Robert Sherer