November 2009 through December 2010
“Relax,” created by Kansas City artist David Ford, is an image constructed from several layers of both reality and painterly illusion. A hand-painted translucent sign spells “relax” in light yellow, lower-case letters. Drips of paint are almost a successful distraction from the subtle gradations of blue along the edges of the sign, which is held up against a real blue-sky by the arms of a young black woman. Close observation, however, reveals another layer of illusion in the clouds painted by the artist.
Ford has been making political art in public spaces for 25 years. His work covers a range of disciplines and cultures functioning in what he describes as “multiple dimensions.” Ford has developed an intriguing approach, culling and combining images and information from a variety of sources, always keenly aware of the context from which they come and the meaning they carry.