Trent Reynolds: the Green Man on campus
Alter egos definitely can exist through the work of an artist. One alter ego, who exists through artist and teacher Trent Reynolds, is called the Green Man. To Reynolds, the Green Man is a metaphor for the things with which he has struggled. "Trent Reynolds: Green Man Paintings," the art exhibit which opened last Thursday at Emeritus College, took people through Reynolds' elaborate journey with the Green Man.
Reynolds, the fourth of six boys, grew up in a family of lawyers and businessmen. "I was trying to find my own place," Reynolds said. He has been loving and doing art since he was a child.
The Green Man appeared once to Reynolds only to just recently come back again as his reflection; the mirror thru multiple representations in his life.
Reynolds elaborated more on the symbolism of the Green Man. He noted how in general, the green skin color could be seen as mainly negative and dark, but also positive. The Green Man in Reynolds is the farthest thing from black and white one can get.
"At first he represented everything I struggle with; the devil on my shoulder. More recently, I have come to recognize that his color is sickness, but also life. His largeness, overindulgence, but also abundance and apathy," he explained. "The answer is usually not one or the other, but a little bit of both."
Reynolds did not give everything away of what is behind his paintings in the art gallery. He gave some clues as to what some signify; the several portrayals of the green man through connections and relationships. "Drawn" which shows the Green Man lying in a shopping cart in front of a house in some neighborhood represents family. Reynolds kept things interesting though. "I like people to have a chance to come up with their own conclusion about the art piece."
All of the paintings were respectably different. "Floating Fast," representing the Green Man against the universe, was a favorite among many. Another painting, "One Man," was quite fascinating and ironic. It was embossed with sixteen faces of the same outline, but each with different hues and color.
Associated with SMC through Emeritus College himself, Reynolds teaches a couple of art classes to the seniors in the program. Besides much praise about his art, some students had praising comments to say about Reynolds himself. Among one of them is Sun Lee. "He is such an enthusiastic teacher and artist. He teaches us everything step by step very clearly," Lee said. "Mr. Reynolds is very patient. We can ask him anything. His students here adore him."
Likewise, Reynolds enjoys his students. "I love teaching here," Reynolds elaborated. "There is openness. The senior students are all very caring and they listen. Sometimes they parent me!"
Reynolds' art techniques are a combination of several steps. He collects significant images, personal or from the internet, and then combines them in the computer. "I print the resulting composition out on a black and white laser printer in small sections," Reynolds described. "After gluing the sections onto a canvas I paint on top of them with layers of glazed and opaque oil paint."
When Reynolds looks at the Green Man today, abundance and growth is what he feels stares back at him. He shared how in the beginning of the process he even hated the Green Man, in terms of the sort of philosophical relationship he had with himself."However, the more I have come to paint him, the more I have come to just enjoy him," Reynolds enthused.
The Green Man Paintings exhibit will continue throughout Oct.15, and is on display at Emeritus College.