As a long-time practitioner of postal correspondence, when the pandemic crisis occurred my initial urge was to reach out to my friends and family with mail. Delivering a small piece of artwork with a handwritten sentiment felt like the closest action to giving a hug I could take. After mailing out dozens of 5” x 7” sketches with the title “Emergency Optimism,” I started working on the 24” x 30” painting of the same name. While I painted I thought about the entertainment of puzzles, windows of houses, intersecting lines of connectivity in this shared experience, and the optimism of color.
Fascinated by symbols of communication and how they can be impacted by the passage of time, S. Tudyk depicts looming, imagined billboards which appear worn down by age. Rather than an advertisement or other expected imagery, these billboards act as a stage for fragmented lettering within a diverse grid of colored panes, with openings which reveal glimpses of a complex underlying framework. Each piece is painted onto sturdy birch panel, often with embedded pieces of deconstructed paper giving a rough and ridged quality to select areas of the surface. Tudyk is a 2001 BFA graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design and currently lives in Richmond, Virginia.