Wk 8-Artist Conversation-Terry Liu

Artist: Terry Liu

Gallery: Marilyn Werby Gallery

Title of Piece: The Side Effect of American Imagination

Artist Conversation with Terry Liu


Two of  The 6 Strange.

Unfortunately, for this weeks artist conversation I actually didn’t get to speak to, Terry Liu, the artist whose work I viewed. I was really hoping that Terry would have been present at his gallery so I could have asked him a few questions about his very colorful and creative pieces. But before I viewed his work I read his mission statement and by just the name of the title I knew that his concepts were going to be really unique. Since his pieces revolve around imagination there is no telling for sure what his drawings are because they come purely from Terry’s imagination.

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Four of The 6 Strange.

Terry did a great job transferring his imaginative designs and creations on to paper. His work consists of a wide variety of colors and creatures. Through reading the mission statement, Terry was taught and raised to be a very serious individual. Terry was raised in China, and while growing up he was limited and restricted against the use of his own imagination. This changed the moment Terry came to America.

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Six of The 6 Strange.

With the freedom of being able to use his imagination, Terry was influenced by just about anything, whether that be from stories of mythology, folktales or anything he found interesting. As you can see, there are countless amounts of subject matter in Terry’s pieces. They don’t revolve around just one subject. This makes his work very fun to look at. But what also adds to this component is that Terry put his own little spin on his illustrations. Terry mentions in his mission statement that being able to make something his own and adding his own strange side effects and making the piece really fun and busy is all that matters to him. Terry includes his philosophy in his six illustrations, The 6 Strange, and his one hand crafted piece, The Crazy Ice Cream Man.

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The Crazy Ice Cream Man

The 6 Strange are by far the most creative illustrations that I have ever seen. It is almost as if they were tales from a child’s book but were transformed with Terry’s imagination. There are many fictional characters and the use of colors ranges widely within his illustrations. What Terry was aiming for was the use of a very busy composition and free style line work. As I have said Terry’s illustrations look as if they came from a child’s story book but there is no true way to identify where he became inspired from.


The Crazy Ice Cream Man

As for, The Crazy Ice Cream Man, Terry clearly explained that in China, there were hardly any fun favorite ice cream flavors but when he came to the United States, he noticed the importance of ice cream for American culture. The thing that Terry thought was most interesting was that the U.S. utilized ice cream trucks. The idea to him was that ice cream can be sold anywhere and that really showed Americans craving for ice cream. With this new seen culture, Terry created an ice cream man that matched with the American culture. The piece is handcrafted from foam core and consists of many different pieces which I would imagine took a long time to complete.


The Crazy Ice Cream Man

With his new experience of American culture it seemed that Terry had a lot of fun with his art because he was able to freely express his imagination. As a child, Terry didn’t get to experience the chance to actually imagine and be a kid truly. When I read his mission statement about how Terry grew up, it kind of reminded me of the quote from the movie the Shining, “All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy”. This is probably to the extreme but not being able to have fun and use your imagination can drive someone crazy or it could be the other way around where you have such a big imagination and people still think your’e crazy. Either way this is a tool that allows people to either escape or cope with their reality and not being able to utilize this tool can drive people insane! As a child I don’t remember one moment where I wasn’t using my imagination. Imagination is a key component of being a child and an adult because it makes us who we are. That imagination can make us silly, happy, and creative. It diminishes our ties to reality of having to be so serious and boring all the time.

If you want to know a little more about Terry, look him up on his Facebook page at Terry Liu.


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