Bob Trotman: Business as Usual

Edited by Mark Sloan. Essays by Lia Newman and Roger Manley. Interview with the artist by Crista Cammaroto.
Published by the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art (2017).
136 pages.
ISBN 9781495128646
$29.95 + shipping and handling.

As the catalogue that accompanies an exhibition of the same name, Bob Trotman: Business as Usual contextualizes the development of Trotman’s caustic sculptures over the last decade. Bitingly critical of institutional and political power, Trotman’s wooden sculptures draw on the tradition of the often larger-than-life statues outside old cigar shops and the figureheads on ships’ bows. The artist’s practice of painting these wooden figures also recalls the medieval tradition of wooden religious statues, and with this connection he simultaneously deifies and lambastes contemporary wielders of power such as businessmen and politicians. Using the vernacular of these so-called show figures, Trotman’s work reveals the elaborate posturing of wielders of power, privilege, and pretense that secretly, or not so secretly, shape the world we live in.

This body of work was featured in a 2014 Halsey Institute exhibition, also titled Business as Usual. The catalogue features more than eighty images, scholarly essays by Lia Newman, Director and Curator of the Van Every/Smith Galleries at Davidson College, Davidson, NC; and Roger Manley, Director of the Gregg Museum of Art and Design at North Carolina State University, Raleigh; and a conversation between the artist and Crista Cammaroto, Director of Galleries at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Published by the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, the book is a key resource for understanding Trotman’s multifaceted practice.

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