“Using paint alone as a medium was very disenchanting.” - the artist
Q: What led you to become a mixed media / assemblage artist?
A: I took a collage class in my junior year in college. Soon after, it became my favorite medium to work with and now it is my prime focus. Though initially a painting major, I did not paint much (and still don't). Using paint alone as a medium was very disenchanting. At the time, I had interest in learning as many mediums as possible. Collage was very freeing from the rules of traditional art making and structured art classes.
Q: Where have you studied and how long have you been an artist?
A: I took graphic communications at my vocational high school before I studied fine arts at a community college. Afterwards, I transferred to Montserrat College of Art my sophomore year where I recently received my Bachelors. Art has always been an interest of mine ever since I picked up my first crayon. I have always been introverted, so it is how I felt most comfortable expressing myself.
Q: Where do you derive your inspiration from?
A: I derive a lot of my inspiration from multiple things. Mostly from self awareness, altered states of consciousness, the divine feminine, polarities, and channeling the dark side of human nature: that being, fears, the social masks we wear, multiple personas, as well as mental health. Though my work is really personal, I also explore external conflicts such as sexual liberation, body politics, power structures, and cultural identity. Though some of these concepts might not be too evident in my work at the moment, it is what I have been interested in lately and wish to integrate more into my work.
Some of my favorite artists, not in any particular order and ranging in various mediums are Robert Rauschenberg, Max Ernst, Ana Mendieta, Hans Bellmer, Wangechi Mutu, Claude Cahun, Steven Stapleton, John O`Reilly, Man Ray, Cosey Fanni Tutti, Valie Export, Herman Kitsch, Tatsumi Hijikata. Some artists who I admire that I discovered through social media are Katrien De Blauwer, Brittany Markert, Nedda Afsari, Miss Meatface, Denis Forkas, Krist Mort. I could go on.
Q: Where do you gain your mixed media materials from?
A: The materials I use in my collages and assemblages are mostly disposed paper or objects that I find on the ground when I walk my dogs. I love going to thrift shops and antique stores to pick up small knick-knacks. I find value in these forgotten objects and I like to integrate their history into my work. Not only can they be aesthetically pleasing but the objects also work as personal symbols. My black and white collages are cut out from various photography books, where I take apart figures and landscapes to distort them and turn them into something new. Working with these given forms not only gives me direction but I feel like I can relate to the work I am manipulating better.
Q: What do you hope for viewers to take away from your art?
A: When people come across my work, I want it to be a visual stimulant that guides them to looking into themselves. Self awareness, in my opinion, is not only about finding inner peace and joy or any of that nonsense, but also exploring parts of yourself that you are afraid to confront. I just want people to relate and feel something on a deeper level.
Q: How do you view your art career in five years?
A: In five years, I see myself living in a setting with an art scene that actually invests more in contemporary artists. I do not expect art to be my main source of income, though that would be nice. I want to be more involved and collaborate with other artists to create work that has an impact on viewers.
About the artist:
I am a multimedia artist with a main focus on collaging, more specifically black and white photo montaging and assemblages. My collages work as a formal and psychological exercise to present a record of conscious thought and action. I take found photographs out of discarded photography books and cut up representational forms into indistinguishable abstractions, while incorporating found objects and rearranging them into something new. By using a given/found image or form, I am taking materials with a history of its own and applying that to my own personal experience. In analyzing and modifying a fleeting impression, I constantly put myself into unfamiliar places whilst being aware of what I discover.
This process allows me to understand my decision making. It is a metaphorical alchemy of tapping into the unconscious mind: transcendence through breaking apart and reconstructing what I think I know and turning it into something new. The fragmented glimpses visible in my collages, appearing much like inter-dimensional landscapes or obscured cinematic figures look to channel the polarities between the mind and body.
The process of my work refers the struggle between self-knowledge, self-deception and acknowledges that we are in a constant state of recreating ourselves, which is reflected in how I keep my work in a flux. My work explores mental and physical pain and the pleasure of indulgence, desire and apathy; the relationship between subject and object; the harmony of the creator`s control; and chaos or creation.
Though my work may be personal, I do reflect on external issues at times such as using parts of the figure as a tool to explore body politics, transgression, censorship, power structures, and cultural identity.
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