My artistic process begins with collecting salvaged colloquial objects, photographs, scraps of text, and dismantled remnants of previous works. Each object is carefully selected for its unconventional beauty and quality of mystery when separated from its conventional context. I find a coffee stain on a discarded playbill or the wear on the fold of an old map both intriguing and exquisite. I am fascinated by how ordinary words manifest a divergent visceral impact when translated into alternative type styles and languages. A found family vacation snapshot will maintain its sense of nostalgia but is nearly immaterial without its subjects to elaborate its story.
I find creating harmony between these inherently disharmonious objects a fascinating practice. Their connection may actually be their seeming disconnection. It is my challenge to find a relationship among them, and then place these objects in a way that gives them a new purpose. In reconstructing the objects’ significance or former collective meaning I am walking backwards on sacred ground. The result may be unsettling, but that is my work’s greatest potential and promise; a new way to view the world. I admittedly feel an enormous pressure to explore every facet of what can be done with each object, thought, or photograph, and allow it to speak, sometimes even shout, a fresh significance. Old world meet the new.
A piece of art, much like a person, is the totality of the experience of its ingredients. All my chosen objects have a place in the past and I redefine their history not only by their arrangement, but through the modern world’s most expanding technology– the computer. I digitally collage elements, adding colors and effects to heighten their visual impact. Each art piece becomes an interactive process of an experimentation of object and technique. The colors I select as their backdrop work in tandem with their meticulously choreographed composition to illicit a more forceful emotional, visual, and aesthetic impact. I allow the objects, colors, forms, and content to evolve into a new drama.
A lot of my work involves the use of mannequins. When we view a photograph of a person we immediately respond to their looks, clothing, expression, or stance. We make a judgment on their appearance or project onto the subject our own condition. It is difficult to use a photograph of a person to create a neutral environment. A mannequin, however, is a blank canvas that can be easily manipulated and contorted to create a desired affect. They are not animated but solely anthropomorphized. I am fascinated not only with the potential inanimate quality, but with the history they have literally carried on their backs; they are stand-ins for collective ideals of fashion, femininity, body image and social status. We dress them up to broadcast our intention, and they offer no resistance to the forces imposed upon them. As they remain a potential ground for society to view itself and self-inflicted standards, I hope we can glean new meaning from the reflections on ourselves they provide for us.