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Value Proposition: ‘Business As Usual’ at the Van Every/Smith Galleries

  • Bob Trotman sets up a sculpture

    Sculptor Bob Trotman visits the Van Every/Smith Galleries to work on installation of his exhibit Business As Usual.

  • A Bob Trotman sculpture
  • Trotman with Denier

    Bob Trotman with his sculpture Denier, 2016, Carved wood, plywood, steel, bronze, motor, artificial plants.
    A carved bust of a man sits atop a pyramid modeled from the Great Seal of the United States, seen on the national currency. A hand from above dangles a cherry on a skewer just within reach of the man’s mouth. As the cherry gets closer, the motorized hand snatches it away. He has been denied. His mouth closes without obtaining the reward.

  • A Bob Trotman piece
  • Trotman and his piece, Fountain

    Bob Trotman with his sculpture Fountain, 2013, Urethane resin, lights, wire.
    In this kinetic work, the man’s body comprises a safe. His mouth opens and closes. Is he firing off commands? Or continually gobbling everything up around him? He expels waste into a metal bucket from spigot on the front door of the safe. The yellow liquid recycles through the piece, reminding us that policies aimed at destabilizing the poor are institutional, constant.

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"Making the bottom line the top priority puts enormous pressure on human values. It is a practice that has long characterized the corporate world and now, increasingly, also characterizes government policy. What becomes of those who are caught up in this system, either as perpetrators or victims?" - Bob Trotman

The spirited, timely works of North Carolina-based sculptor Bob Trotman will be on display at Davidson College's Van Every/Smith Galleries Oct. 19 through Dec. 8. The exhibit, Bob Trotman: Business as Usual will open today with a public reception from 7-8:30 p.m.; Trotman will make brief remarks at 8:30 p.m.

In conjunction with UNC Charlotte's Projective Eye Gallery, Davidson's Van Every/Smith Galleries also will host a joint lecture with the artist at 7 p.m., Nov. 2, at the Center City Building in Charlotte.

Trotman was born in 1947 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The self-taught artist earned his bachelor's degree in philosophy from Washington and Lee University and for 42 years has maintained a studio in the foothills of Western North Carolina. Working mostly in wood, but also using light, motion and sound, Trotman satirically suggests a confluence of power, privilege and pretense that shapes our world. His work has been widely exhibited in solo and group exhibitions, and is included in several permanent collections. He is the recipient of two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, and four grants from the North Carolina Arts Council.

To learn more about Trotman and watch him at work, visit his website and watch "Bob Trotman at The North Carolina Museum of Art."