Viewing Room Main Site
Skip to content
An Interview with Carroll Dunham

The world of Carroll Dunham’s art is a faraway place, deep in the unconscious, where perennial myths and night terrors are born. His painted images go straight through the eyes, back to that lizard part of our brain—violence, sex, genitals, color.

Dunham spends years cultivating small plots of his world, developing each glyph of his visual language with the sort of long-term, exploratory scope that a science-fiction novelist might use. Early on, he spent a decade painting in a pool of hallucinatory, anatomical abstraction, growing organs and biomorphic shapes individually, until little angry faces and fat bodies began to sprout. Eventually, an anthropomorphized sun was born, a tree, a mountain—all the basic building blocks of any world.

Over the next decade, he built an electric, masculine dystopia. Its primary inhabitants were menacing, eyeless, penis-nosed men, with gritting teeth, wearing suits and stovetop hats. Through hundreds of drawings, prints, paintings, and sculptures, Dunham compulsively re-created these figures from various angles and positions, sometimes in a vast, barren wasteland, or in a cabin, or with guns, until the world seemed to have been comprehensively mapped...

Back To Top