Artist Statement

 

The subject of my work is body language and emotion. I am interested in how humans emotionally relate to skeletal postures when the facial and verbal expressions are removed. This type of communication exists only when in the physical presence another person, and is practically obsolete in any other technological mode of communication.

 

My work is made through a process involving both sculpture and painting. First I build figures from imagination using poles of rolled newspaper and recycled objects, with lots of tape and glue. I then paint the sculptures from direct observation. The paintings express emotion and narrative through the gestural positioning of the paper sculptures, communicating through the use of body language, rather than words or facial expression.

 

My process, working back and forth between sculpture and painting, challenges me to find "gray areas," utilize paradox, and play with contradictions. As a person of mixed race, I am most interested in between-spaces and in the deconstruction of categorical absolutes.

 

Simulacra and Reality

 

My process reflects the way meaning is made (or lost) through a tension between individual lives and television. The paintings imitate the sculptures, yet the sculptures are geared toward making a painting as the end product. The self-referencing process creates dialogue between sculptures and paintings and causes a distinct distance from the external reference. The self-reflecting process also creates meaning in television and life, as advertising and programs target the human psyche, yet people imitate what they see on TV. The television imitates life, and life imitates TV, until the source becomes obscured and meaning shifts onward without a base.

 

The process blurs the line between imagination and reality. In some ways, my sculptures begin based on memories of my own emotion, but when I make the paintings they become something else that exists only in reference to the sculptures and the process.

 

I want to use the paintings to evoke complicated, contradictory, and ambiguous emotions. Our fascination with Death + Sexuality, a hunger for both, yearning for both pain and pleasure in most extreme of forms, stems from inflated expectation for love and pain provided by television and movies that prevents us from understanding our experiential emotions.