Multimedia artist has two pieces in exhibition this weekend
CU fine arts major Shane Zweygardt will be showing his work in the Bachelors of Fine Arts Exhibition “A Burning Trace of Methods,” which opens this weekend.
Zweygardt’s work is a mixture of many seemingly disparate components – painting, photography, computer art, audio recording and drawing. Sometimes these components congeal into pieces that comment on modern life, other times the result is more abstract and expressionist.
“I try to be socially conscious,” he said. “I kind of go back and forth between stuff that is really relevant and important in the world today and stuff that is more abstract. I really dig abstract expressionism.”
Art has always been a part of Zweygardt’s life. Both his parents are artists: His father is a sculpture professor at Alfred University in New York, and his mother is a weaver who now lives in Fort Collins.
“It’s always been there,” said Zweygardt. “I’ve always done art. It wasn’t like, suddenly I was like, ‘Yeah, all right, this is what I want to do.’ It’s just something that comes out of me.”
Zweygardt will be showing two pieces at the BFA exhibition. Both are collage pieces that comment on modern consumerism.
“I took a camera out to where I would normally go to buy things and just started taking pictures of the masses of stuff that we acquire,” he said. “In the postmodern world of art, you just have to do whatever surrounds you. You’re the only one who thinks the way you do, so it becomes a sort of weird self-portrait.”
He took the photographs and manipulated them on Adobe Photoshop, then arranged them into a dense collage, which he painted over.
“Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of collage. I think making collage is the only way to really pull everything together,” he said.
The larger of the two pieces he is showing has an audio component. Zweygardt used a tape recorder to record a variety of different sounds that interested him. He then combined these sounds into a 13-minute sound collage that will be playing on headphones next to the piece.
“I think sound can really change the experience of a work. If you have to listen to something, it really pulls you into the world of the piece,” he said.
For Zweygardt, sound and music have always been integral to his artwork. He has played the drums for nine years and currently plays in three local bands. One of his bands, The Jimi Austin, recently played at the CU Battle of the Bands.
“I let music infuse a lot of the things I do,” he said. “Music is always influencing my artwork. I’ll take a song, or the moods from a song, and try to capture that in my art.”
Although Zweygardt has been around art his whole life, he said he believes his work is becoming more focused.
“Over the last couple of years, I’ve become more refined with my ideas, and I’m doing art with more focus and more know-how,” he said.
In the future, Zweygardt hopes to use this focus to continue pursuing art.
“I wouldn’t mind teaching some day, but I don’t want to do that right now,” he said. “Right now, I just want to practice art on my own, sell some stuff privately, just see where it goes.”
Zweygardt’s work can be seen at the CU Art Museum’s BFA exhibition “A Burning Trace of Methods,” which opened on Friday.