People on Streets
The obsessions come and go for Skot Horn. A painter and longtime Toledo resident, Horn’s primary subject is urban life. The focus and style of his canvas changes from time to time from images of buildings or people to works that are surrealistic or more grounded in reality, painted with oils or ceramics. You can track Horn’s career by the look and progression of his work.
Horn’s current obsession is individuals on Toledo’s streets, taking mundane and everyday moments and elevating them into art. Horn’s been focused on the subject for months now, crafting paintings of people walking on the city streets, standing on corners, captured in a quiet moment of Glass City life. The results of this latest obsession will be on display at the Hudson Gallery exhibition, People in Place.
“I sort of keep doing the same subjects that I do, they sort of keep coming around,” Horn said. “Like, I’ve painted this series before. Painted people in cities, painted people outside, groups of people. I did that years ago. And so it’s just something that I don’t get tired of painting. I think people like looking at people… I like people watching and I think most people do.”
From photos to paintings
People watching is the seed from which Horn’s paintings grow. Born in Fremont, Horn has worked in a variety of media, including ceramics, sculpture and photography. As he aged, many of those mediums fell by the wayside— “I can’t be good at everything,” Horn says wryly— but his passion for photography always remained.
Once Horn has an image he finds interesting, he begins painting it. He rarely works on one image at a time, often having upwards of five paintings at any given time. Though the artist’s style and subject matter have changed over time, he hesitates to classify his evolution as “growth.” “I don’t think I’ve grown at all. I think I’ve gotten older,” Horn said.
Critique and inspiration
The cliche is that an artist is his own worst critic, and Horn readily admits that he resembles that remark, especially when it comes to a just-completed work. So he has a routine. “I put it in another room, I never look at them. As soon as I complete it, I don’t try to judge it right away, because I know if I do, I’ll repaint it the next day. So I put it away for a while, let it exist on its own and I can look at it again with a fresh eye. So I work on lots of them at the same time,” Horn said.
People on streets. For now, this is where the muse is guiding Horn. Someday, the obsession will change and he’ll find a new subject, a new style. He’s already talking about moving over to acrylics, which will result in “much looser” images since the paint dries faster. But until a new inspiration strikes, the citizens of Toledo will be Horn’s inspiration.
On view through April 18.
Closed Sunday and Monday.
Hudson Gallery, 5645 Main St., Sylvania.
419-885-8381 | hudsongallery.net