Anthony Adcock's hyperreal oil paintings and sculptures literally resemble the objects found on a job-site; pieces of worn plywood, rusty I-beams, scrap rebar, work tools, etc., and are often dismissed as debris and not actual artwork.
Adcock is a superb example of a Conceptual Realist. A Conceptual Realist is one who utilizes realism as a point of departure focusing on the essence of the subject matter rather than verisimilitude. Adcock creates his artwork by synthesizing the knowledge gleaned from three generations of builders, his comprehensive understanding of the trade, and an uncompromising studio practice dedicated to the advancement of realism. By combining his expert understanding of construction with the intellectual rigor of abstract painting via realism, Adcock's artwork oscillates between amazement and absurdity.
When viewing Adcock's work, questions come to mind as to if it is actually art. If so, why would the artist create something so mundane, what are his motivations? And, it is there, in between the oscillating space of bewilderment and understanding, where the viewer is transported from looking at a perceived fragment of debris to a synesthetic experience far beyond the picture plane, and into the sights, sounds and smells of a construction site. This is where the conceptual aspects of Adcock's artwork rings most true.
Adcock explains, " Working as a Local One ironworker has undoubtedly altered my perception of labor and its relationship to value. Similar to artists, ironworkers place a tremendous amount of value on the process of creating. They laboriously build with pride, forging out a living by installing structural steel to reinforce buildings and bridges. But unlike artists, their 'artwork' is concealed under concrete and hidden from plain view. Their work does not accrue cultural capital or generate a discourse around deconstructing the previous model of post modernism. The structures remain unnoticed and unrecognized as art by passers-by. Connotations of union workers, along with denotations of art, have led me to create works that generate experiences similar to that of a job-site, mimicking specific moments of the construction process via Trompe l'oeil painting, sculpture, drawing, and installations."
Anthony Adcock received his MFA from the University of Chicago and BFA degree with a specialization in oil painting from the American Academy of Art in Chicago, IL. A skilled Local One ironworker, Adcock has exhibited his paintings and sculptures throughout Chicago, IL, in Charleston, SC, Tulsa, OK and New York. He lives and teaches painting and drawing at the American Academy of Art and Vitruvian School of Art in Chicago, IL.