The Arrival of Machete: Travis Dodd

Our friend Carla has graciously allowed us to reprint her recent review of Travis Dodd’s “The Arrival of Machete” at Eyedrum. And while I’m on the subject, we need people writing about visual art! If you’d like to see your work here, write me at Thanks!

By Carla Aaron-Lopez, reposted from her blog, Aliens Love Spaceships.

“Last Saturday I visited Eyedrum in Atlanta to see a show politely titled ‘The Arrival of Machete’ by local artist Travis Dodd. Dodd studied photography for his BFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design. While to the public, he may seem very quiet and a little menacing, he’s far from it. A gentle man with questions about where life is supposed to go now that generation X is being overcome by ‘tweens,’ Dodd creates work that tear down the ‘growing up’ ideals while creating new ones. Some may see his work as a grown man trying to reclaim his childhood imagination while I viewed it as that and more. When people grow from child to teenager to adult, they are supposed to let go of the very things that made them love being a kid. Some people take paying bills as their adult advantage, others take no longer having to play with Fisher Price and Mattel as their adult advantage. My friends, there is a huge difference between being child-like and childish. This work has a hint of child-like but speaks volumes about a generation of people in America that are constantly asking “Now that I’m older, what’s next?”

travis dodd

Dodd’s work reminds me of the inner child in all of us. The slacker that generation X is so synonymous with can be derived from the work as well. On the blank white walls at Eyedrum, Dodd took his photographs and created encaustic installations on wood breaking the classic black frame and white matte medium fine art photography is known for. Within the series, there are two characters, a boy and a girl, that travel through barren industrial lands fighting against an entity they do not want to become: a boring old adult. For those of you not old enough to enter a bar or too old to go out until the wee hours of the night, this time of life is the most difficult for people. We may have our college degrees and our first jobs but since nothing is quite guaranteed anymore, we often ask “what is the next step going to be?” Dodd seems to question the growing old formula within his work. There is a photograph of a girl standing in front of spraypainted angel wings. There is a boy climbing over tall walls of concrete. An urban jungle, if you will. With blank spaces integrated throughout the photographs, it makes me wonder if there is an absence somewhere in life. If there is, all I’ve got left are more questions.

Dodd is questioning life and industry in modern America. Where do you stand? Where do you fall? What is the next step in the battle of growing up. We all relish our fun as an adult but when does responsibility become too much and we forget about the child inside of us? What about the battles we face everyday that we have created for ourselves? Let Travis Dodd answer that for you and more. His website for The Arrival of Machete is up and running. Click on the link to check it out.”

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