I never used to watch horror movies. My only memory of them as a child: my brother and his friends watching John Carpenter’s The Thing, me under a blanket, being told its ok to look —right as the Thing was ripping out through a dogs face. That was it for a decade. I loved movies enough after college to try The Omen, Rosemary’s Baby, The Shining, The Exorcist … once.
In 2008 my partner died unexpectedly when an previously unknown cyst in her brain came loose and plugged her right ventricle, trapping the cerebral spinal fluid and fatally increasing pressure inside her skull. Well, not fatally at first. Her head was tapped over 40 times between July and October to remove fluid. A salad plate sized section of her skull was removed to prevent her death. In the end she was released to us, stable and braindead. Faced with her life in a nursing home or death, we chose death— by starvation and dehydration over 3 weeks, the only legal option in 48 states.
When I returned to my life I was diagnosed with PTSD - I could not connect to work, friends, the world or myself. One day, somehow, I saw a horror movie. I don’t know which movie started it but I watched and felt deep and dramatic comfort. I became obsessed with horror, working through directors, decades and themes. I had always thought horror movies merely exploited our fears. But what I discovered was an acknowledgment of the real world: people die, many tragically, most unexpectedly and, often, terribly. I also found a beautiful art form that I needed to dive into.
The work in this show depicts bad death. Much of it comes from the recorded history of human torture from 530 AD to the present day. It also comes from my imagination - which is flooded with horror movies.
about the artist:
Alex Lockwood makes abstract sculpture from colorful material, often repurposed or recycled. He builds with one primary component which is repeated many times to create patterns and structures. His material is often recognizable (bottle caps, shotgun shells, bread tabs and lottery tickets) though not always immediately. A familiar object seen in unfamiliar numbers can be alien at first glance, and Lockwood finds power and beauty in presenting commonplace material on an uncommon scale.
Alex Lockwood is a self-taught artist from Seattle, WA. He lives in Nashville with his wife and their two sons.