By Ryan Michaels
For The Birmingham Times
Despite the “gory” nature of much of his work, Zachary A. Edison said the bloodied man-machine hybrids he depicts through drawing and sculpture validate people’s struggles.
“Those machines reference our institutional things that we create, and then the individual [in the art pieces] is more so just an actual individual, what they go through, and kind of trying to keep it on an intimate level, when you can talk to the viewer face to face with that,” said Edison.
The screws, wires, knobs, gears, springs and other bits of metal that appear on or inside the figures that Edison draws and sculpts represent the literal machines that people use and degrade every day, but they also refer to societal institutions like government and school.
Edison, 27, grew up with a father in the United States Air Force and moved around a lot, going from Texas, to Germany, to South Carolina. Edison said he came to Alabama in 2008 and grew up the rest of the way in Hoover, where he still resides.
Edison has a Bachelor of Arts degree in art studio and a bachelor’s in English from the University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB). Edison is a member of Paperworkers Local, a non-profit artist co-op run out of a printmaking facility, and a preparator for the Birmingham Museum of Art.
Updated at 10:14 a.m. on 4/29/2022 to correct Edison’s degrees.