“For me, it was more about the abstraction of all these images coming together and starting to develop a quasi-narrative.” When we last sat down with Bill Saylor, back in 2015 for a print feature on his work, it felt a little bit like Juxtapoz heresy to showcase purely abstracted paintings. But there was something in Saylor’s work that resonated as beautiful and genuine narrative, and in these stories, figurative elements emerged. In viewing an exhibition of his work, the paintings and sculptures almost bleed into each other, spilling from story to story. “(When) I was around five…. I used to lie on the floor and make drawings of my favorite comics.” That influence is still apparent in the works you see today.

Through October 23, 2019, Magenta Plains in NYC presents Neptune’s Machine, Bill Saylor’s second exhibition at the gallery consisting of new paintings and large-scale sculpture. The show encapsulates Saylor’s approach to “topics of natural history, marine biology, and ecological crisis along with a freedom of materiality galvanize his distinct painting style… The metaphor of Neptune’s Machine captures the raw energy and natural force of Saylor’s hand and allows for a broad representation of his explorations.”

There is rawness and almost primitive mark-making that speak to the uncertainty of our ecosystems, especially the ocean, and instead of literal renderings of environmental catastrophe, these works roar with visceral anger in their urgent energy.