Art, Art History and Design, School of
Date of this Version
When I was growing up, both my parents worked at a U-Haul from which they brought home discarded objects to the house my dad built with his own hands. This home, interior and exterior, was not designed to fit an explicit aesthetic, but all aspects of the house were in harmony and completed by the objects brought into each space. The house became a repository for abandoned domestic American culture— beds, window blinds, couches, appliances, and other products made it into the home in irregular but frequent intervals. For me, each item was an opportunity to have something new to experience.
The way I approach my work is never from a directly observed source. I convey my subjects strictly from memory, similar to my childhood musings with drawing. I take materials that are common for the construction of houses such as pink insulation foam, joint compound, latex paint, and spray paint. These materials gain a new identity as they are configured onto a wooden structure. The objects are re-contextualized through quirky sometimes bulbous, sometimes animated shapes, to allow them to transcend their original purpose. Through this, I foster a new narrative for each piece while maintaining the basic visual familiarity. I wish the transformation of material to create a visceral response to the objects being depicted such as the AC unit or garden hose. I want to solicit this response to items I find or know, manipulate or construct, and to create an environment through the relationship of these objects.
The three-dimensional forms of my current work create conversation with my past work as a painter— most objects I make have a relationship with the wall against which they are placed or hung and others mimic the idea of oil paint’s materiality. Some forms resemble minimal sculpture, leading the viewer to re-investigate how we perceive the household item.
The objects I make are depictions of items that were brought into my home or found in proximity around it. Each piece is derived from an association I have towards it such as the piece titled “No Wiggle Room, Again” in which I represent a bunk bed. When I was a child, my two younger siblings and I had to share the top bunk for years due to the limit of space we had growing up. The bed is hung high igniting a child’s perspective, and the structure of the bed is small dictating the space we had to share. Memories, dreams, and experience play a role in determining the importance of a piece. A created form could embody a portrait or simply act in a supporting role to the overall completion of an environment. All are grouped to create both an interior and exterior version of how I perceived the objects when I was a child.
This exhibition is a suggestion of an environment. It began with memories from the house my dad built on Whitetail Lane in Lytton Springs, Texas. Each domestic form, changed through material and scale, builds its own reality within this space.
Advisor: Matthew Sontheimer
A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Fine Arts, Major: Art, Under the Supervision of Professor Matthew Sontheimer. Lincoln, Nebraska: April, 2017