“Untitled” reveals fruit of Troyer's experimentation

Stop by Aaron Troyer's art show Saturday at It Looks Like It's Open and name the art. The show is titled “Untitled,” and it features 30-plus works that Troyer opted not to, well, title.

In an interview at a Downtown coffee shop, Troyer said the reason the pieces remain nameless is not a high-concept exercise or the ultimate in meta art shows, but rather a practical function of the source of this body of work.

“I had felt like I was in a rut. I was often times trying out new techniques, new washes and materials, even new brushes. Because I became stagnant, I was trying to expand what I was doing,” Troyer said. “So this body of work isn't really cohesive. There [are] some that are very simple … single-color ink washes on paper, [while] others are some of the most layered washes I've done.

“I don't consider my art very conceptual. Having this show called ‘Untitled,' it's just about giving the buyer or the viewer the opportunity to interpret the piece in their own way and name it as they see fit.”

Troyer explained that he often finds himself in periods during which he is less than fruitful with his art output. In part, this is attributable to his busy schedule — he's a special education teacher at Hamilton STEM Academy, as well as an active participant in the local music scene, fronting the band Day Creeper and playing in Pink Owl and His Supernatural Fears. But there are also inspirational/motivational reasons for these times of reduced artistic productivity.

“Sometimes I just find myself more focused [than other times] on visual art,” Troyer said, adding that during summer break from school he's not only been focused on staging “Untitled” but recording albums with both bands. “I get stuck a lot. I had a show last fall, and usually after doing a big collection of work like that I become stagnant. So I took a break for a month or two … and thought maybe I'd try a different approach. I bought a couple pads of smaller watercolor paper and just started trying things out. I felt like I could experiment in smaller works, in part because I don't have to worry about throwing it away if I don't like it.”

Troyer said for every work in “Untitled,” there is at least another that he cast aside, although some found a second life as he experimented with using pieces of his own work in collage, “so a section of a piece I considered a failure might make its way into another piece.”