"Recognizing the inherent aesthetic qualities of organic objects is at the heart of Owen Mortensen’s work. Although often unnoticed, these natural design elements are quite dramatic and beautiful (e.g., the veining of a leaf, the sculptural form of a bleached bone, the texture of a popped kernel of corn). He is fascinated with the interplay of organic elements juxtaposed with precise pattern. Often geometric in design, his work also explores repetition of both positive and negative shapes.
A common theme of Owen’s work is the concept of transition, progression and/or lifespan, portrayed literally and figuratively through pattern. Western culture and society reveres anything at its highest point of performance (e.g., a crop ripe for harvest, an athlete’s prime or a flower in full bloom), but often ignores the various stages before and after its perceived zenith of growth. These other stages in life, however, are equally as meaningful in depicting true progression.
Influenced by two contemporary European artists, Andy Goldsworthy and Chris Drury, Owen strives to set his work apart in an exciting new genre of art and design labeled by some as Organic Modernism. His work stands as an inspiration to viewers to literally stop and smell the roses, and realize the intense beauty found in the everyday, mundane objects of nature.
About the Artist: With undergraduate degrees in both Liberal Arts and German from Utah State University, Owen fulfilled prerequisites for architecture studies, which included many art and design classes. Simultaneously, Owen began creating and selling his first pieces of leaf art. After completing two years of post-graduate work in architecture at the University of Utah, he realized that his true passion was creating and marketing his art. Owen believes his best training came from his childhood and the hundreds of hours spent exploring every natural element along the rural irrigation canal behind his home in Northern Utah."