I’ve known artist Skot Armstrong from what now seems like infancy and he remains one of those people who is literally indispensable to my own sense of well-being in the world. Over four decades, he and I have collaborated on a number of projects, making our own fair share of mayhem and wonder together. As friends and colleagues, we have shared far more of life’s high points and lows than I care to (or could possibly) remember, but always we have taken joy in each other’s company and fellowship and, over the years, our relationship has evolved to a degree of comfort and closeness that now seems almost familial.
Whatever one might think of his work (and, in fact, there is so much of it that it virtually defies categorization), there is no question that it is invariably provocative and, for me at least, goes a long way to defining what “avant garde” signifies both in the best and broadest sense of the word and in any meaningful contemporary usage. I think that a major reason why Skot’s art remains so woefully (in fact, tragically) under-appreciated may well be that his very prolificness conspires to make it difficult to easily encompass the work as a whole. Its sheer volume and variety defies easy labeling and this of course plays directly to the intellectual laziness and commercial corruption of the art establishment.
Of late, Skot has been delighting cineastes everywhere with Bunker Vision, his wonderful film column in Tulsa Kinney’s artzine Artillery. Perhaps more easily accessible than his painting and work in other media, the column nevertheless reflects the same playful yet transgressive sensibility that informs and illuminates all of his art and that makes it at once so delightful and yet disturbing .
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