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Chugger's New Drawings: Kurt Von Voetsch at Starlight Studio and Art Gallery

Heart and Soul

Many poets and artists view the image as a channel through which the soul speaks. Kurt Von Voetsch (aka “Chugger”) has tapped into this source as he pieced together fragments of drawings into an assemblage of materials that appears to float across the gallery walls in an energetic display of temporality.

His artist statement tells about an influential college instructor who asked the class to draw 100 souls in a garbage bag and hosted a group called the Church of William Blake, the English visionary painter and poet who died ridiculed and penniless back in the early 1800s. Later on, artists discovered his worth. Poets Allen Ginsberg and Patti Smith brought new appreciation to his love for the image. He wrote the now-famous line: “If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.”

Von Voetsch’s collage of drawings and ephemera is suggestive of maps.The visual flow of imagery melds together as an infinite whole, revealing gaping mouths, emotive faces, reflective surfaces, and curious snowmen. He freely utilizes transparent packing tape, a common material used in his gallery installation work. “The light hits like angels,” he explains. Drawing upon spirituality and art-making during years of living with a serious illness, the artist’s process shows the heartfelt urgency and potency of marks made when issues of mortality are at stake.

Starlight Studio and Art Gallery is open to the public Monday through Friday.

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