|Acquisition Number: 2014.4
Colored pencil on paper
8 1/4" x 5 1/2"
Credit: Gift of the artist
"In 1988, when my son was born, I temporarily stopped painting. During that time, an acquaintance hired me to help him restore two antique carousel horses. This enabled me to research the history of the carousel and to learn about the great carvers of the early twentieth century. I have been researching and photographing carousels ever since.
Originally, I painted my first carousel images. But painting became too time consuming after my daughter was born in 1992. Drawings were more practical because they could be easily interrupted when the children needed attention. Illions Horse VI is one in a series of twelve drawings done from the Marcus Illions carousel at Geauga Lake. (Geauga Lake has since closed and the carousel was moved to Worlds of Fun in Kansas City, Missouri, in 2007.) In these pieces, I carried over the intense sunlight and cropping techniques of my architectural work because it increased the psychological tensions of the subjects.
These horses' acrid colors and glass eyes which seem to follow the viewer everywhere can bring an almost sinister quality to a ride we generally think of as benign and carefree. I wanted to capture both the excitement and apprehension children feel when approaching these large beasts for their fantasy ride. Marcus Illions' fiery steeds are perfect for projecting these sensations."