The latest show at downtown Bryan’s SEAD Gallery called Procrastus Interruptus is a culmination of artist Scott McDermott’s journey as an artist to this point. One doesn’t see the “Procrastus” part of Scott’s work in any obvious way when entering the gallery doors and looking over the art (it must be a personal label deemed worthy by only the artist). The “Interruptus” part is more evident, though, and creates a variety in the body of work that peaks the viewer’s interest.
The most dominating pieces capture the eye immediately, and cause the viewer to wonder if they are possibly photography. McDermott’s “Ben” and “Roger” are large-scale oil on wood pieces of motorcycle and rider–the paintings almost move off of the walls in the way they portray motion, speed and velocity.
The paintings transition from dynamic to more static as seen in the series of oils on woods with the recurring theme of rhinoceroses. But static doesn’t remain the descriptive word for long as the viewer takes in 278a, 278b and 278c. From urban graffiti-esque patterns 278b to the cool yellow wash of 278a, layers become evident in what seems to be, on the surface, the simple use of the rhinoceros profile. The layers yield to many different scenes in 278b, tricking the viewer’s eye as they see the animal and then suddenly, the shadowy outline of one of McDermott’s childhood heroes, Steve McQueen. It is this type of surprise that keeps the eye trained on the picture for a length of time that the artist intended, hoping that the transition from realistic to abstract would create a visual journey worth staying the course.
Other patterns repeat in McDermott’s work, including screws, nuts and bolts that lay over the ubiquitous rhinoceros profiles in 668a, 668b and 668c, and evoke a sense of mechanics and engineering coalescing with nature.
The unexpected use of old car hoods provides a surprise medium that causes the abstraction of the geometric patterns painted on them to suddenly invoke the reality of the material being used as a canvas. Just another way that McDermott infuses surprise and whimsy into his creations, keeping the show light and playful, yet open to deeper interpretations at the viewer’e discretion.