Born in Iowa the center of America Travis Bird was left to wander aimlessly for 18 years in cornfields until the day he discovered art school. Upon this discovery he packed his bags and ran away to become an artist in Kansas City. After five years and a lot of debt he has graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute and has participated as an active and enthusiastic member of the local art scene. Showing work and teaching demos at the Arts Inkubator Print Gallery and Mattie Rhodes Center, he also likes to spend his time working with local out reach programs, which promote local community art projects. In his free time Travis likes to work as a free lance Illustrator and Demo Instructor.
People often want to be someone else, for a variety of different reasons. In a society where our identities and faces are carefully documented, the illusion of anonymity is appreciated. In the digital world we can create alter egos and pretend to be someone we are not, whether cruising dating sites or creating social networks we can become a new persona. These avatars have little or no responsibility and their words and actions cause us little consequence. We can act out and act on our secret desires with the hope that the alter ego will not interfere with our real lives. There is freedom in anonymity but there is also a loss of community.
These concepts and views are guiding principals in my studio work. I make social commentaries regarding personal connection, social identity and autobiography. I use drawing and printmaking to create images that call into question patterns of social behavior and individuality. With the knowledge that behind the person I am speaking to lays an alter ego, I question whom I am really speaking with, and who is being masked behind the public face of a student, worker, administrator or politician.