dual solo survey exhibitions: Sarah Krepp and Joel Ross

curated by Carrie Johnson

at Rockford Art Museum, Rockford, Illinois

October 7, 2016 through January 29, 2017

Joel Ross collects voices. He travels American roadways seeking personalities and voices to lift, adapt, modify, edit, repair, and embellish. After he has lifted and renovated the strange and the familiar, he invites those fictional agents into his studio practice, and there, he gives them a platform to tell their stories. These characters take over, and their voices—their stories—become the work.

Ross’ sculptures and interventions often take place literally at the edge of the road, but the locations and subject of the work also include the parking lots, alleyways, buildings, and signage that feed into or off of the intricate web of pavement that blankets the American landscape. The distinction between the actions and words of the characters in the stories and those actions and declarations of the artist himself are not always clear. Sometimes the artist is playing the character, and sometimes the character is playing the artist.