Gordon Newton: Monster Trucks & Tanks
Layers of meaning are buried in the images that Gordon Newton built on his paper surfaces. He mixed paint & graphite with varnish to create a look rich with patina and history. The history springs from a mixture of childhood experiences and a probing of popular culture and current media. Workman like and emotionally dense the various series of works Newton has produced all share a sense of common mystery.
In his series of Trucks & Tanks, Newton mixed information contained in his collection of toys & personal polaroids of Monster Trucks. Newton was endlessly fascinated with the unlimited custom variations created by pick-up truck owners to personalize their rides.
His tanks or “warfare” pictures grew out of his connection with the extensive media coverage of the conflict raging in the Middle East. The frozen menacing tank image was gradually swallowed in the layers of paint as Newton personally erased their actual presence.
Each of the works in this series rides the edge between the known and the abstract, the embedded and the revealed and in so doing they mirror his presence in the Detroit Art Community.