Visual Poetry – A Classical Graffiti


Layers of history and time are a constant in the work of Marjorie Guyon. One of the hallmarks of Guyon’s work is that the image at once emerges from, yet disappears into what appears to be an ancient surface. Yet, she also seems to be lighting the path of time. It may well be the dynamic between the two impulses that gives her haunting images their appeal. To build her compositions, she works in collage and applies marble dust and pigment - earth from all over the world to create an archeology of the soul. Her work is at once both contemporary and ancient - a blend of mythology and graffiti.

Guyon’s work and projects appear in public and private collections across the United States: International Paper, FedEx, Morris Museum of Art, Pfizer, Brown Forman, Keeneland Foundation, Saint Joseph Hospital, Brian and Jane Williams, N’Namdi Collection, University of Kentucky Art Museum, UK Healthcare. A commission by the Keeneland Foundation in 2006 sparked her interest in public work. Her project "Nation of Nations" is being utilized in Albany by the Capital District YMCA. The Breeder's Cup Festival commissioned Guyon to create a public art presentation melding projected image and language to welcome worldwide visitors to the event.

 
Her recent projects express her vision for an affordable Public Art that addresses spaces that would normally be overlooked but are highly visible –underutilized real estate, parking garages and billboards. The goal is to create street ‘museums’ that bring unexpected beauty - redefining the space they inhabit.

Urbandesign.org defines Civic art as the sum total of the architecture, public spaces, monuments, urban design, and landscape of a city, but it is far more than the sum of the parts. Civic art is place making into art that creates timeless civic values and helps define cultures.  Guyon's projects essentially create outdoor exhibitions that citizens will encounter as they go about their day to day lives serving as a means to integrate the transcendent experience of art into the everyday business of living - reminding all of the power to transform the world.


Altars and holy places are not yet marked for the present age. The artist is the new mythographer who reaches into our primordial deep within. The work of Marjorie Guyon conjures up for us those sacred spaces wherein we can imagine the Real; can see again parts of life long neglected, forgotten, can join her figures in their mythic dance.

By what means can we forge a new mythos for our time? We as human society fundamentally need forms, images, figures, alive with meaning that will tell us about ourselves and our world.

The question posed by Guyon is how we are to recover “an arena for the mysteries” – a place, a locus where we can recover for ourselves a center around which we can revolve/around which our meaningful tale about reality can evolve. Marjorie Guyon’ s work imagines for us, those real places in which we can become ourselves, and know who we are.

Joseph Campbell has recently observed that since we have travelled to the moon and seen the world as a whole again – as a garden, an oasis of life, with human beings, all of a kind and in close communion – we have been brought to a new situation of the magnitude of the beginnings of the development of the city in say, about 3200 B.C.E.  But now, it is the development of human life on planet Earth as a holistic activity. In order for this life to be forged, we need the artist’s help- to plumb our depths and restore our vision of the whole. Guyon’s work is at the edge of this developing vision, assisting its trajectory.

— Dr. Paul Evans Holbrook

Marjorie Guyon