Diane Cionni, Blue Devil, Acrylic Ink and Spray Paint on Panel, 30'' x 24''
Skyler McGee, Cocktail Attire, Encaustic, graphite, textile, ribbon and sequin on wood, 10'' x 10''
Ian McLaughlin, Home Around the Shoulder, Acrylic on Canvas, 36'' x 53''
- Exhibition: ALTERNATIVE FACTS
- Showing: June 29th 2017 - August 12th 2017
I vividly remember as a child, reading C.S Lewis’s book, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I will forever recall the scene in which a young girl named Lucy curiously steps inside a wardrobe only to stumble into an unknown land. From the inside of the wardrobe, she gently caresses the surfaces of some old fur coats only to feel the fur give way to branches, a forest beyond. My work explores this moment. The moment of unexpected transitions in our every day lives. The places in which our habituated spaces: that of our homes, families, politics, spiritual and social selves are ever at the cusp of change. We are always in relationship with the world we have been given and the world we are making.
My work depicts elements of the natural world alongside our own decorative arts: feathers, rocks and animals mingle with lace, sequins, and ornamental designs. Through combining and recontextualizing these motifs, I am probing the question “What is possible?” We frequently think of our own wardrobes as simply the clothes we possess: what is available to us. Yet Lucy found the enclosure of a wardrobe to be a place where something lay to be discovered, even created. What she expected to find gave way to a new way of being. My work is a visual exploration into the places where we might make something new of the things, sometimes hidden, that we already have.
I like the fall season. The fall season has always been poignant for me. The vivid colors of the leaves as they change, oxidize, and then die. The vivid reds against crisp blue skies. The color changes of the dying leaves is inspiring. It helps me paint. Color is a superpower. Or so I believe. This fall I felt a need and tremendous power-love to embrace vivid colors. So I did. It was great. I felt great again… I once covered my body in red paint and sang the American anthem while licking the fence on 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Challenging but doable. Do it! As long as you have 500 for bail you’re good. While I was in motion licking with conviction I spotted David Sedaris, Winona Ryder, Reggie Watts, and Al Franken doing the same. About twenty yards away or so. They smiled and waved without interrupting their licking of the fence. I thought this was kind of strange, but I’ve seen Stranger Things. I once met a kangaroo without any political associations or intentions. Curious. You’d think she’d have a side to pick. But she has a pouch. Her young are fortunate for this.
November this last year was particularly full in many ways. Vivid colors. Bountiful. My heart remembers feeling like a punching bag and buoy at the same time bobbing around. Watery with rhythm of waves and determination. Sadness too. Something had to be done. So I painted. I shouted and painted. I cried and painted. I danced and painted. I called friends and painted. I made calls and painted. I signed petitions and painted. I took a poo and painted. I meditated and painted. I made love and painted…
My work is a reaction to the natural and the artificial that surround us – a complex interaction that layers human construction onto natural evolution. The persistent tension between forces that both conflict and complement each other is the interface at which I work.
I am fascinated by movement and fragmented forms. I seek to incorporate the transience and ephemeral nature of day-to-day life into my work, using patterns and layers of color to transform a space. Without knowing the ultimate destination, it is always exciting to see how my exploration shapes the final piece.
Printmaking is the medium that most effectively liberates my ideas. It is intense and compelling. It generates fascinating, yet unpredictable results. This tension encourages the constant exploration of new vehicles for my art, whether through mixed media, painting, or three-dimensional sculpture and installations. My goal is to push the technical and material limits of printmaking as far as I can.
My work is inextricably entwined with and influenced by the time I spend in nature and many years of painting and drawing from direct observation. I often incorporate details and materials from my daily life and interactions with other people into my studio processes. The black and white Rhizome Mind Map drawings, for example, are infused with ideas from people I have interviewed. I asked them to describe or draw for me their own personal concept of a universal invisible energy-field infrastructure that might possibly exist in the physical world. In my studio practice, I combine many direct and indirect processes. For the work in this show, I used spray painting, digital manipulation, hand cut stencils, sketchbook drawings, printmaking, silkscreen and a vocabulary of painterly language from art history. I spend a lot of time studying and waiting for the next cue. The variety of materials (copperplate and polymer plate etching, watercolor transfer, acrylic paint and inks, bees wax and glue, to name a few) and the combinations of application techniques are intended to represent the lush, diversified and intricate nature of human experience in a complex world.