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Shane Townley is an artist / environmentalist with a primary focus based on Global Warming and the affects of technology on the human mind. Townley is an Internationally Collected Artist, Gallery Founder, and Art Director. His work can be found in private and corporate collections worldwide. Townley has exhibited in and curated shows in New York, New Jersey, Laguna Beach, Beverly Hills, San Diego, Palm Desert, Monterey, Las Vegas, and Scottsdale, AZ. Townley founded a non-profit group in 2013 dedicated to arts education and global warming awareness. The non-profit group is called the Townley Arts Foundation Inc. 501c3. A portion of every sale is donated back to this charity to benefit children in schools and hospitals using arts.
“I have dedicated my life to the awareness of our natural and unnatural surroundings” – Shane Townley
“A New Surrealism” Shane Townley Art Work review by Clayton Daniels
The art work of Shane Townley is not what it seems. Or, it is exactly what it seems. Sly, these paintings are a mix of riddles and unanswered questions. Is it a simple landscape? Or, is it a careful prompt to larger questions and understandings about our surroundings?
A simple glance is all it takes to count the elements that comprise much of Townley’s work: a calm sky, a peaceful expanse, a line of trees not too far in the distance. Sometimes he shows us a road or path, some times not. The colors are soothing but dripping with emotion and paint. The composition is familiar, peaceful in its predictability. But there is more here, much more and like the “kitchen” poems of the late Jane Kenyon and Updike’s urban wastelands, Townley’s peaceful mindscapes are anything but peaceful.
The opening sequence of David Lynch’s, “Blue Velvet,” features a long slow zoom into a classic American exterior. Crisp, clean, comfortable it embodies a storybook that is as much of a part of American mythology as is the dream that all men are created equal. Lynch, like Townley, toys with us. Because as we get closer the camera takes us from benign detachment into the top few layers of soil beneath the perfectly manicured lawn and it is here that we see a teeming hoard of writhing violent murderous insect life. In Lynch’s and Townley’s shared vision, the peaceful is not the truth. The peaceful is the myth, the mask that disguises the truth. A difficult disturbing truth we all share.
In Townley’s exquisite work we know there is chaos beneath surface. The expanse of land that takes us to the trees is false hope, unrealistic expectations that distract us from the pain and difficulty of the lives that are symbolized in that long slow walk. But it is the trees that are most telling: arranged in a synchrony of balanced meditation, they are a mirage. An idealized endpoint to life’s challenging frontier. Is there an other side? Is it as simple as stepping comfortably through the gaps between the verdant actors? No, endings are painful, ruinous. And the journey to the other side is never what we expect or dream or hope it to be.
It is this inherent deception that pushes Townley into surrealism. He presents the fantastic clothed in the realistic. Unlike Dali, a favorite of Shane’s, this surrealism is subtle and idyllic. Perhaps, an even more devastating commentary than melting clocks and faces.
Shane Townley is an artist that asks us to think about what we don’t see. Think about the earth and our distructive path, It is here that he excels. Because by giving us what we think we want, he forces us to see what is really there.
– Clayton Daniels (review writer)
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