I imagine environments in states of mutation using a vocabulary informed by children’s cartoons and the folk art of my upbringing in a Pennsylvania Dutch home. Generally, the work derives from mundane things – flowers, humming, mason jars, clouds – and then imbues them with anxieties of sexual identity, reproduction, and disease. They are investigations of suburban excess and isolation; quiet drama played out under wraps, sometimes exploding; a conflation of a rural past and the present moment in which we unyieldingly transform the pastoral into the developed.
This yardage was hand printed with the generous support of the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, PA. The aim in my half-drop four-way design is to dizzy the viewer in this entangled symbolism, and maybe ease a little bit of the anxiety that seems to buzz around issues of sexual identity.
Todd Stong is an artist based in Philadelphia, PA. He received a B.A. in Visual Arts and Literary Arts from Brown University in 2014, with additional coursework at the Rhode Island School of Design. Stong has shown in a number of exhibitions, both group and solo, in venues across the East Coast including New Urban Arts in Providence, RI, Urban Gallery and Books in Philadelphia, PA, Blue Door Gallery in New Haven, CT, and Trestle Gallery in Brooklyn, NY. He has completed funded residencies at The Art Students League of New York Vytlacil Campus, CAC Woodside, and the Vermont Studio Centers, and he took part in the Post-Graduate Apprentice program at the Fabric Workshop and Museum, where he has work in the permanent collection. He currently teaches painting and math at the Kimberton Waldorf School in Kimberton, PA.