“Marquee Theology” is Kansas City based artist, Dylan Mortimer, navigating the concepts of marketing, soliciting, and evangelism. It opens at Trifecta Gallery May 1.
The exhibition is Mortimer ongoing testing of what is sacred and spiritual propaganda that, according to the artist, is “public expression that bridges the permitted and the prohibited.” Mortimer, who is also an urban pastor, plays off his daily processes of expressive personal conviction that collides with public pop culture, which the artist feels can be messy, but is mandatory.
"Marquee Theology” prompts are the unpredictable winds of religion, and Las Vegas itself. There will be three wall-mounted signs that combine the functional form of multidirectional arrows, a marquee reference to the biblical passage on the wind blowing wherever it pleases from Gospel of John 3:8: “You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
Mortimer also taps in the outspoken saints of rap martyrdom, Biggie and Tupac. “In hip-hop, there’s total permission to express things directly, and there’s no sense of ‘This is what I believe but I’d better not say it out loud.’ I find that really compelling,” stated Mortimer in Trifecta's release. Images of Biggie and Tupac are haloed pop icons -- installed in bulletproof stained glass.
"Marquee Theology” also features Mortimer’s second Las Vegas installation, a choir robe colored in highway orange, fabricated from warning cloth and embellished with reflective tape and other symbols of soulful safety. From that, one can call Mortimer a Man of the Safety Cloth.
Above: Opening Night at "Tilting The Basin" in Las Vegas