Tyson Skross was born in 1978 in Illinois, and spent his childhood in Texas and Geneva, Switzerland. In Geneva, the western European landscape and geography had a profound impact on him and led him to question notions of reality and place. Situated between Lake Geneva and the Swiss Alps, Skross witnessed many natural phenomena, which he refers to as “glitches.” These glitches alter the reality of the particular place and expose the fragility of perceived truths. The artist’s paintings often depict built structures within a landscape, sometimes real, sometimes remembered, and sometimes imagined. Skross is interested in the intangible aspects of a certain locale rather than its physical construction, insisting he paints places, not things.
The works, which are oil on canvas and mixed media such as silver and gold leaf on board, have titles referring to various plants and trees (among them Bulrush, Aleppo Pine, Horse Chestnut, and Redwood). Each plant has a certain characteristic or symbolic meaning and is chosen based on its relationship to the composition, which is not necessarily a geographical one. While the plants can sometimes be native to the place of the painting, they may reference a personal, historical, or literary event as well. Thus, the paintings are constructs of collective memories and the artist’s own personal experiences.
As the artist states, “This is a world made of memory. It is at the same time gathering and dispersing. It is a composition of heres and theres. Memories are formed on a sub-atomic level by a mixture of experience, imagination, and symbolism, the real and the unreal, of truth and deception.”
Skross graduated from L’Ecole Internationale de Geneve in 1997 and studied under the painter Janis Pozzi-Johnson from 1993-1997. He graduated from The Maryland Institute College of Art in 2001. Earlier this year, the artist had a solo show titled Spectral Rearrangements at Kunstraum Gruenerhund in Berlin.