Tim Olson

Region: Midwest

The paintings in this series combine regional subject matter (crime stories, landscapes, portraits) with paintings from the past. It started, in part, with a recognition of the similarity between contemporary mug shots and portraits by early Netherlandish painters, and continued from there.

I tend to misinterpret or ignore symbolic details when I look at paintings from the past. I give them my own mixed-up meaning—kind of like mishearing lyrics to a song and making up your own. Through this misreading, the paintings (and songs) develop their own idiosyncratic stories. This undisciplined trait has been useful in making these paintings.