The mythic world depicted in the paintings of Adrian Cox serves as a stage for his fictional race of hybrid beings, the Border Creatures. In his works, these grotesque protagonists exist in a state of harmonious coexistence with their environment. The Border Creatures are poets and artists, drawing inspiration from their lush surroundings in the Romantic tradition, or gardeners and amateur scientists, shaping the very world that makes up their composite anatomy.
The vibrant landscape in which they live is the Borderlands, a space that paradoxically references Nature, while calling the very idea of the Natural into question. These environments reveal their artifice, and combine close observational study of plant life with references to the traditions of nineteenth century landscape painting, scenic backdrops, science fiction, and kitsch. The synthetic Arcadia that unfolds in these works shows the deep and inextricable link between man and nature, and the mythic space of the Borderlands reveals the natural world to be a Vivarium, a habitat that lives and dies by human hands.
Adrian Cox (b. 1988) is an American painter born and raised in Georgia, where he received his undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia in 2012. Cox currently resides in Saint Louis, Missouri, where he teaches painting at his MFA alma mater Washington University in Saint Louis. Cox has exhibited work both nationally and abroad, recently including the Mildred Lane Kemper Museum of Art, Manifest Gallery in Cincinnati, Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles, and BeinArt Gallery in Melbourne Australia. His paintings have also been featured in print in the International Painting Annual 3, Anatomy Rocks: Flesh and Bones in Contemporary Art, as well as Hey! Art Magazine.