A series of unique hand-drawn artworks by Scott Covert.
Uniques in a series
28 x 34 cm
Oil wax pastel and pen on paper
About The Artwork
Covert’s practice has largely concentrated on compositions created from rubbings of gravestones in oil wax pastel. The artist often undertakes cross-country, sometimes decades-long road trips to seek out specific subjects, which he describes as ‘people of character’. His works chronicle a highly-personal index of well-known figures, from jazz musicians to Old Hollywood stars, civil rights activists, underground performers, and victims of crime. These records of celebrities, luminaries, the infamous and notorious are distinctly engaged with the great mythologies and tragedies of 20th Century America. In the 9-14’s series Covert looks at a national icon, exploring the changing significance of this highly loaded American image. Covert’s flag, taken from an unnamed headstone, has been repeated within numerous drawings, the artist’s gestural variations and keen use of colour differentiating each work. As a symbol, the waving flag is a powerfully nostalgic emblem of Americana. Covert subverts this reading, rendering the flag iconoclastic. Torn and fragmented by scrawled lines, the works suggest a depleted representation of the American Dream. Surrounded by the hallucinatory helter-skelter of checked patterns which characterise Covert’s drawings, the flags' allegiances seem closer to countercultural movements which rejected traditional values, than to patriotism. 9-14’s recalls the flag’s long history of artistic interpretation, from Jasper Johns’ painted abstractions, and the critically charged works of David Hammons, Dread Scott and Barbara Kruger, to Covert’s contemporaries, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring. Covert’s own series was prompted by a seismic turn-of-the-century event which has had complex and catastrophic consequences globally. Twenty years later, this still in-progress work speaks persuasively to ideas of political identity, cultural symbolism and power.