RUSSELL BILES

OUR AMERICA/WHOSE AMERICA?

2022 | Ferrin Contemporary | North Adams, MA

Canceled

As a child growing up in the 60’s I enjoyed watching a TV show called The Rifleman. Chuck Conners, the ‘Rifleman’, justly dispatched 120 bad guys during the show’s run. As an adult I still enjoy watching “The Rifleman” gun em down but no longer feel that sense of Freedom and Security once enforced by the ‘magical gun’.

Today I realize that our Country’s Freedom and Security have actually come from the end of a gun and those willing to use this gun in our defense- My concern and motivation for creating Canceled is my fear that today’s and tomorrow’s generations will fail to accept this reality. Thus compromising  our Country’s Freedom and Security.

Rake

2017
porcelain
9.5 x 9 x 8”


Additional Works

A self-described “son of the South,” Russell Biles was born, raised, and still lives in the southern U.S. He remembers playing around with clay at a young age, making animals and monsters, but it was not until he entered college to study architecture that he was re-introduced to art and  ultimately to ceramics. Since his graduation Biles has been a studio artist in Greenville, SC, working in sculptural forms that range from large totems reminiscent of Northwestern Indian  work to small, carefully crafted, colorful porcelain figures. He is best known for the latter work  which confronts the direction in which society is moving and finds it severely lacking. Biles uses such American icons as the Cleavers and the Cartwrights as well as contemporary newsmakers to satirize social, religious, and political issues and to engage the viewer in the discussion. Biles employs irony and satire in his work and believes that the humor inherent in satire tempers the  critique and hopefully produces a thoughtful reaction rather than an automatic rejection. As important to Biles as the message is the craftsmanship of his work, the quality that gives the work integrity and cements his position as a noted artist whose work is included in a number of both private and public collections.