B.F.A. Senior Exhibition 2021
The Plattsburgh State Art Museum invites you to join us in celebrating the academic and artistic achievements of the graduating class of 2021.
Whether one’s concept of time feels physical or experiential, we all experience the changes that time brings. We see this in our own lives; time changes the body and our mind, as well as our familiar surroundings. This experience of time passing is personal as I think of things lost, gained and never experienced. A feeling of wonder is created by this process, which influences my work. Ideas begin to grow while I am gathering, observing, and creating objects. During the integrative process they become new objects with new narratives, thus being transformed once again through time. Both my sculptures and photographs are a reminder of how time brings change.
Sometimes it’s hard to put into words how we are feeling, what we like and dislike and our emotions that we feel in the actions of our day to day lives. The ability to create an environment where I can completely let go of myself has been a key factor in what has drawn me to art. Acquiring this capability as an artist has helped me have an outlet for expressing my feelings in a positive way. In my graphic design and sculpture work, I am able to use composition, color and conceptual content within a piece to try to invoke a reaction and communicate to the viewer. In my graphic design work, I am able to lay out information in a clear and concise way that communicates information in a rational as well as an aesthetically pleasing way. In contrast, my sculptural work is a channel for me to let loose and to show who I am inside. These are things that I cannot verbalize. By working in two different mediums, I am able to fully express myself to the world, in hopes that I can spark an internal reaction in the viewer.
My artwork takes inspiration from cultures all across the world, using both folklore and storytelling. The research I do allows me to have a deeper knowledge and understanding of far-off places as well as the people that inhabit them. I can then mold together a small portion of these places and traditions for viewers halfway across the world. Whether as an outsider looking in with deep respect and appreciation or pulling from my own family background, I use every piece of knowledge to create fantastical worlds of my own to share. My goal is that these worlds might seem far different from our own but hold a familiar sense of home while keeping the viewer engaged and curious about the work they are presented with. I strive to create more than just an image or object to view but an experience and place to see yourself in—a place where you can escape from the day-to-day and viewers can take a moment to steal away into a world surrounded by new faces and fresh adventures. Each creature or character I breathe life into takes on a specific role in these dimensions and have a story entwined with one another in the same way we all exist together in the outside world.
I aim to create spaces undefined by time. By removing identifiable landmarks, technology and figures, I can achieve ambiguity within my paintings. Broad visible brush strokes and subtle arbitrary color create interesting compositions that invite viewers into these strange settings. There is a sense of anticipation within each piece, allowing the audience to speculate and create their own meanings and narrative.
Lighting and editing are very important throughout all my work. By emphasizing the intensity and direction of light, I can direct the viewer to important passages in the work while also conveying the overall atmosphere of the piece. The abstraction of the figure, as it emerges and dissolves into the shadows of the composition, helps invoke a psychological response that further transports the viewer into these unique spaces.
Painting captures the essence of a moment better than a photograph ever could. This idea is what drives my work, in that I’m always looking to evoke an emotion or narrative in the mind of the viewer. Through my paintings, I intend to portray everyday life as a way to visually connect with the person viewing the painting. One of the most important aspects of my work is relatability: relatable in the sense that I hope the viewer can see some part of themselves in my paintings. By creating a more conceptually charged still life, you give the viewer something to project themselves into and understand from their unique point of view, giving the work endless amounts of personal interpretations. This has always been my goal when creating a painting, to depict a person, place or object with the same vibrance and energy that it radiates in life as a way to speak to an experience that any viewer can identify with.
The way in which people create connections continually changes. These interactions with the world can be as seemingly simple as driving to work or creating a deep relationship with another person. The way I interpret relationships with those around me has shaped the way I construct my work. I want my art to represent connections, whether that influence is derived from a feeling, a structure, or a retrieved memory. With every piece that is woven together I think about how they will interact and in turn create a greater whole; a visual metaphor for how I have developed relationships with others in my life.
My graphic work embraces the seeming simplicity of a grid structure. With this visual approach I try to give the viewer the information they need while making the piece visually striking. As I have shifted my focus to packaging and branding, I’ve strived to make the design engaging, something someone would want to pick up, feel, and take home. Working in both two- and three-dimensional mediums has shown me how elegant simplicity can be and how careful thought can create something beautiful.
I incorporate my heritage, culture, race, and religion as the core structure of my work. My art is a reflection of who I was and who I am becoming. I want my art to be something that speaks for itself. Consider my art as an invitation to engage in an intimate internal discourse with me. Whether it be the colors, the figures, or the treatment within each piece, I seek ways to make you ponder. Each piece brings a new version of me that I didn’t know existed. Ultimately, the work I create is the embodiment of me.
As a photographer, utilizing existing materials and fabricating and presenting a reality that is different from what we see every day is my intention. In that reality, I face my fears, confront my struggle, find my joy, and enjoy the precious little things. I create a personal iconography using familiar objects and settings and transform them into a narrative that exists only within my mind. Embedded in those iconographies are the cultural and social values that I live by and treasure. As I explore and experiment with a variety of subjects and ideologies, and build an alternate reality for each, I have come to realize that they are all linked together like threads on fabric, just like we all are in this world. Look at my photographs and you will experience a world of isolation, comfort, aggression, joy, and everything in between; get to know my photographs and you will get to know me.
While my photography is deeply concerned with memory, experience, and the fabrication of a personal narrative, my graphic design work follows a slightly different path. The idea of fabrication continues to be an element of my work, as I incorporate typography, pattern, iconography, and photographs and fill them with intentions to communicate with my viewers. I seek out meanings in the world around me, from the culture in which I grew up, and the people that I have met. All of these experiences become part of my graphic design imagery. My understanding of colors, composition, and iconography, all of these basic elements provide the foundation of both aspects of my work, photography and design.
Throughout the different mediums I practice there is one common denominator: my use of art to represent a state of being. Everything I create is a piece of myself. It is the way I communicate, raw and emotional, like words. It is easier to express myself without speaking. Words become unnecessary. My images provide me with a way to be heard without having to say anything at all.
We carve questions into the opaque boxes that we build around each other: how, what, why, and who are you? Who am I in relationship to you? I explore these concepts in my work and invite those who see my work to do the same. Within the human experience, there are points of confusion and insecurity to which everyone can relate. By focusing on the ambiguities inherent in identity, my work becomes a catalyst for conversation and introspection. Emotion is the thread that ties it all together.
My work is highly personal. The way sunlight falls on a wall or an object brings me joy and a feeling of calmness. The light in a room is a powerful and welcome distraction. Having the opportunity to bask in the sun, even for one short minute, helps me to forget about the chaos around me. When creating in both mediums, photography and graphic design, I want the viewer to feel the emotions that are put into my work.