Aidan Koch

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Artist Statement

It starts with a question, a subtle movement, something sharp and defined transforming into something ambiguous, almost ethereal. Is what appears to be there really there? Does it matter as long as if feels like its there? Does it matter if it feels?

I started making comics in 2008. It wasn’t because I was necessarily a fan or had aspired to do so before, it was simply an experiment in drawing. I would piece together bits of imagery and text to see how it created intuitive motions and emotions. By placing panels together in a sequential format, stories were formed. I found myself reflecting on aspects of life around me and channeling those experiences and feelings into characters who could talk about it to each other. These fictional worlds embedded with symbols and language relayed something far more subtle than the single-image based format I was familiar with.

In the years since then I have explored a variety of ways to utilize implied narrative and comic structures in fine art installations and shows, even beginning to include objects and spacial relationships. And while comics-based art does exists, it rarely pushes beyond surface level homage or appropriation. What draws me so deeply to the medium though is that the actual structure that’s ingrained in comics as both a visual and narrative tool is open to endless interpretations. Its full of possibility.

What I found in comics is a way to not leave your audience with one note, with one message, with one image. The space given through sequences of images, panels, and pages allows me to create a system of interpretation that is complex and convoluted. To me this is essential. Life is never one thing, our experiences are never set. Something that might have been experienced in one mindset could be interpreted in a much different one later. I’m interested in the psychological ambiguity of our experiences as humans and the internal process of reconciling with our emotions. Within every character is a reflection.

 

CV

EDUCATION

2009 – Pacific NW College of Art, BFA

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2016
October – Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905-2016. The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.
June – The Person You are Trying to Reach is Not Available. Hester, New York, NY.
March – Someday this will be funny. Company, New York, NY.

2015
September – And Now, Dallas, TX.
September – The Air is an Absence Held, curated by Jenni Crain. Ray Smith Studio, Brooklyn, NY.
August – 31st Biennial of Graphic Arts in Ljubljana, curated by Nicola Lees, Stella Bottai, and Laura Mclean-Ferris. Ljubljana, Slovenia.
July – Sublime, curated by Kyle Clairmont Jacques and Liz Hopkins. Autobody, Bellport, NY.
May – Sara two. Hester Gallery, New York, NY.
May – MDCCLXXXIV, curated by Emma Hazen. Kimberly-Klark, Ridgewood, NY.
February – Fissure:Fog, curated by Bennet Schlesinger. Signal Gallery, Brooklyn, NY.

2013
November – Reconstructing Comics, curated by Peter Sattler. Lakeland College, WI.

2012
September – The Beginning. Beginnings Gallery, Brooklyn, NY.

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2016
April – The Midnight Room. Open Space, Baltimore, MD.
January – The Sleeper. Weekends, London, UK.

2014
August – Mood Board. Mission Comics, San Francisco, CA.
March – Notes. City Limits, Oakland, CA.

RESIDENCIES

2014
April-July – Maison des Auteurs, Angouleme, FR.

2012
October – Epicenter, Green River, UT.
June – Skylab, Columbus, OH.

PUBLICATIONS

2016
After Nothing Comes, published by Koyama Press. ed. Bill Kartalopolous.
Little Angels, published by MoMA PS1 GNY Series.

2015
Heavenly Seas, published in The Paris Review Summer 2015 issue.

2014
Impressions, published by Peradam Press.

2012
Field Studies, published by Floating World Comics.
The Blonde Woman, self published with support from the Xeric Foundation.

2011
Astral Talk, published by Publication Studio. ed. Aidan Koch

2010
The WHALE, published by Gaze Books.

VISITING ARTIST LECTURES/WORKSHOPS

2016
March – Visiting artist lecture, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.
March – Visiting teacher, Sequential Artists Workshop, Gainesville, FL.

2015
December – Visiting artist lecture, Parsons, New York, NY.
November – Visiting artist lecture, LUCA Sint-Lukas, Antwerp, Belgium.
April – Visiting teacher, The Animation Workshop, Viborg, Denmark.
March – Visiting teacher, Sequential Artists Workshop, Gainesville, FL.
February – Visiting artist lecture, Parsons, New York, NY.

2014
April – Visiting artist lecture, LUCA Sint-Lukas, Brussels, Beligum.

2013
March – Visiting artist lecture, Pacific NW College of Art, Portland, OR.

2012
June – Conversation with James Payne and Caitlin McGurk, Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH.