Hilton Head Island isn't exactly "urban." But that's the point.
"Urban Verbatim" is island artist Ted Jordan's latest exhibit at the Camellia Art gallery on Hilton Head. It's a departure from the realism of his previous work: watercolors and drawings of black youth. The art is a Warhol-esque idea full of vibrant colors and a nod to the campyness of the '50s and '60s. It's urban in a town that isn't urban. In other words, it's a poppy change of pace.
Jordan, who formerly worked for Hallmark Cards, explains how a beach town becomes urban.
Question. What inspired you to go in this new direction?
Answer. The pop era of the '60s. They took popular images and translated them into high forms of art. My show has mostly urban images, which echo back to the '50s and '60s. I have a great fondness of those two decades. I used old magazine clippings and such, and then I'd put a different spin on them.
Q. The process you used has multiple steps. What was that like?
A. I used what's called a Cruse Scanner, one of the finest in the world. There's a place in Bluffton that has one. I'd do a small painting then have it enlarged 300 or 400 percent. I'd then take some sandpaper or more paint and rough up the copies a little. It has texture to it. It looks like a silk screen. A bad silk screen -- but bad in a good sense.
Q. Why copy and enlarge?
A. It's amazing how when something is enlarged it takes a different character. I'm very influenced by (pop artist) Roy Lichtenstein. I'm just fascinated by common ordinary images and making them special somehow.
Q. Where did you come across the images you used?
A. I have a 1951 issue of Women's Home Companion, for example. I came across a lot of great old print ads that I manipulated. Really kind of campy, old illustrations, advertisements, images. It's serious work. But it has some parody to it. It's very unique to this area. You don't get this much around here.