Spence Townsend tells stories through his art. Each work provides a brief glimpse into a constructed world which declares its own, internal logic. Taken as a whole, Townsend's work is a particular combination of funny, beautiful, and horrifying.
"i can hear your breath" (oil on canvas, 51" x 61", 2016) was part of a thesis project for Townsend's MFA from the University of Georgia in 2016, highlighting an interest in finding a relationship between visual art and music. Three paintings were paired with three original music compositions. This painting is about being an artist. A traveling circus is representative of every artist's struggle to find a place and purpose in the world. Lost, trapped, and surrounded by danger, the artists bravely put on their costumes and proclaim: "The show must go on". The paired song, "i can hear your breath", is a parallel narrative to the circus-boat story which describes lovers meditating in the forest. In this sense, the imagery seen in the painting is a daydream or manifestation of the hikers' minds while wandering through the woods. The reticent mood or feel of the song is meant as a contrast to the animated disposition of the painting - a purposeful statement about the conflicted nature of the artist as performer and as recluse.
Spence Townsend was born on the outskirts of New Orleans and grew up in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. He earned a BFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2005. After graduation, he spent a few years experimenting with painting, pursuing music, and working as a professional screen printer in Hattiesburg, MS. Townsend earned his MFA in Painting and Drawing in 2016 from the University of Georgia. Townsend has been an Assistant Professor of Art at Mississippi Valley State University since August of 2018. He teaches courses in drawing, design, illustration, printmaking, digital art, and art appreciation.
Spence Townsend's paintings, screen prints, illustrations and multi-media sound pieces have been shown nationally, including solo exhibitions and numerous group exhibitions. Townsend has also performed music nationally and recorded numerous albums within various musical projects.
Themes: Carnival & Circus
super fun quirky picture puzzle, wonderful variation of colors, nicely cut pieces