Hunter or Hipster, Male, 2012
Young artist Rebecca Morgan creates stirring, funny and often grotesque depictions of the “bumpkins” she grew up around in the Appalachian Mountain region of Pennsylvania. She sculpts, draws and paints with a wide range, and while her work may not always be flattering, her identification with and affection for her subjects is obvious, right down to her own bumpkiny self-portraits.
Her wealth of influences may account for such a meandering use of style:
[Morgan’s] characters touch on truths about poverty, addiction, and off-the-grid living, as well as idealizations of uncultured country life. Stylistically, Morgan embraces hyper-detailed naturalism, influenced by Dutch painters such as Memling, Brueghel, and Van Eyck, as well as absurd, repulsive caricature suggestive of underground cartoonists like R. Crumb.
Morgan now spends much of her time in New York City—she’s repped by the Asya Geisberg Gallery on 23rd Street. She says she feels the pull of the country when she’s in the metropolis, but misses the culture of the city when she’s back home—something I’d argue most rural transplants can relate to, to one degree or another. While I certainly sympathize, I couldn’t be more pleased to see another person playing the “hunter or hipster?” guessing game that proves so confounding these days, as portrayed in the portrait above.
Mountain Man, 2014
More after the jump…