201608 Walter Arnold and David Malcolm Rose: Modern Ruins

201608 Walter Arnold and David Malcolm Rose: Modern Ruins

August 12, 2016

While it is true that David Malcolm Rose worked for a short time as a builder of architectural models in New York, it would be a mistake to assume that his intricate, obsessively detailed sculptures of roadside attractions are just scale models. Based on photographs he takes of dilapidated gas stations, drive-in theaters, diners, and motels abandoned on back roads, the artist gives each project a fictitious name and spends several months crafting a unique structure. Then, using tricks of the model-builder’s trade, Rose silkscreens, sands, and saws until every tiny feature takes on the appearance of neglect and the passage of time. “I try to tell a story with each [sculpture],” Rose explains. “You see how they stacked up the dishes and propped the refrigerator door open so it wouldn’t mold? That’s how I found it when I looked in,” he says of Satellite Drive-In, based on a restaurant in western Oklahoma.  Museum visitors can expect to find several reminders of Arkansas’s recent past; among them are a sculpture titled Gas, based on Sherwood’s Round Top filling station, and Sunset Drive-In, inspired by the (demolished) Asher Drive-In movie theater in Little Rock.

Like David Malcolm Rose and his efforts to document changes in the urban landscape, Walter Arnold also finds beauty where many others see only decay. Fine art photographer Walter Arnold travels the country seeking out derelict structures to explore with his digital camera. Using special techniques to broaden the range of visible light and detail, he produces dreamy, almost surreal images. Through his “Art of Abandonment” series, the artist hopes to preserve the memory of many of the nation’s forgotten historic buildings (like the Majestic Hotel in Hot Springs) and industrial sites before they are completely reclaimed by nature. “Every room you look into tells a story,” Arnold says, “and every artifact from a bygone era holds years of meaning and lost purpose.”

Trinity Gallery from August 12 through November 6, 2016.

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Walter Arnold and David Malcolm Rose: Modern Ruins