Then & Now

Works by Ron Crouch

Gallery Three

September 4–November 7, 2020

Artist Statement:

This show focuses on pieces about my two sons: “then” - when they were young children, and “now” - as they have grown to become men.

Early in graduate school, I did a series of paintings that were, in my mind, witty social commentaries. I thought these were much more important than my earlier work, which was concerned mostly with drawings of friends and family sitting around my house. After struggling with these new pieces for a while, one of my professors finally put it bluntly: “The problem with these paintings is that they’re like one-liners. And once you get the joke, who cares?”

All this changed when we decided to start our family. My oldest son was born at the beginning of my last year of graduate school. Since then, my art has primarily been about my family and friends (including several generations of cats) and the space we all inhabit.

I was a stay-at-home dad for many years, which gave me ample opportunity to press my two sons into service as models. When I returned to painting after a ten-year hiatus due to work responsibilities, it was natural that I looked to them again, and the best of my recent work has been about them.

I have enjoyed going over the pieces from when they were children as I made selections for this show. Looking at my work from back then reminds me that I am the most fortunate of men. The new pieces reflect the ongoing relationship I continue to enjoy with them and them with each other.

My mother once told me, “You never stop being a parent.” This show is a reminder of that truth.