Words and Pictures: Trent Lawson


One of my favorite authors is Chuck Palahniuk.

One of my favorite books of his is “Invisible Monsters,” whose later editions have one of my favorite book covers: The young beauty queen who looks like an old, ugly woman, depending on the viewpoint.

Oklahoma City artist Trent Lawson uses a similar play on perspective with his upcoming exhibit, entitled “Gilding the Lilly” at AKA Gallery, 3001 Paseo. The opening reception is tonight from 6 to 10 p.m. and runs through August 26.

okc.net asked Lawson to share what influences his art, and what makes it worth a look.

“My work is centered around the concept of Pareidolia. Pareidolia is a psychological phenomenon in which you see a vague or random stimulus and perceive it as something recognizable. Examples are things like the man in the moon, Mother Teresa in a cinnamon bun, and the Rorschach inkblot diagrams.

I use string to create random lines in the painting’s surface and then use those lines as the basis for my imagery. I stare and turn and stare and turn until I see something I want to bring out. Sometimes they are more abstract. Sometimes they are more recognizable.

For my upcoming show, “Gilding the Lilly” at AKA Gallery, I’ve discarded the traditional stretcher bars that form the structure of a typical canvas and have, instead, attached the fabric directly to the backs of old frames I’ve collected at thrift stores. This makes the frame a part of the piece and no longer an adornment mounted to a finished piece.

Another main component of my work is a lot of texture. I’m constantly playing around and experimenting with ways to create different textures. At my exhibit you will see cracked surfaces, ridges, dimples, pit marks, shiny frames, rough rustic frames, and decorative gold frames.”


“A successful piece, for me, is when ten different people have ten different reactions; there are no wrong answers. It’s a lot of fun just listening and seeing the leaps other people’s minds take. They’ll get in little arguments only to see something totally different moments later.”

AKA Gallery

(c) 2010 Colin Newman and Trent Lawson All rights reserved.

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