By appropriating photographs taken by amateurs and professionals of family members and infamous leaders, I attempt to create a visual context that relays the ephemeral quality of memory while commenting on the mythological nature of our telling of the past. The state between waking and sleeping, where hallucinations can be so frightening to cause a sudden jerk and arousal just before sleep onset provides a convenient metaphor for an ambivalent ideological view that lingers somewhere between fear and anger.
My work is informed by my practice as an art educator and often explores internal and external rhythms in relation to exchanges between populations. Emerging from various artistic processes, my reflections of past interactions persist in becoming fractured memories that influence ideas for future community-based work. In partnership with communities both locally and globally, I am constantly expanding and reshaping the context in which I work. With each population I collaborate with emerges a new body of research and thus a whole new set of problems to solve.
While psychological narratives create a foundation from which to respond to in the forms of my work, it is ultimately a lilting kind of lyricism that I search to achieve. There is also a component of response to media/mass imagery; abstract painting being a distillation of or a filter for the amount of sensory information I find in my surroundings.
By utilizing a process that values exploration when making art, I have found myself with a heavy interest in questioning the art and audience relationship. This inquiry has enlightened and encouraged me in using a variety of objects that have been cast from one strata of society to another. I am re-contextualizing these objects by filling, breaking, and ultimately piecing back together their parts. I believe that this gesture questions the objects’ original place within society, and not only their importance, but also their relationship to the viewer and myself. Many of these original forms are found in thrift stores, online listings, trashcans and alleyways, and because of this the objects carry a familiarity to the audience.
If my practice were an actor it would be Bill Murray. If it was a Ninja Turtle it would be Michaelangelo. The most basic intention of the work is to leave the viewer with some kind of a feeling. The viewer is ideally affected, and left with an experience that was hopefully some combination of funny, sad, dumb, and smart. The practice is broken up into mini themes, specific thoughts leading to object production, and object production leading somewhere and sometimes nowhere. When objects are successful they live in a weird space, they sort of celebrate and critique themselves simultaneously.
In my current work I am interested in documenting the emotional and physical history of the body. The combination of metals and fibers create comparisons between strength and vulnerability, structure and translucence. These contrasts enable me to express relationships between interior and exterior spaces, and emotional introspection and physical protection of the body.
My recent painting installations engage one another through repetition of symbols and illusions. Personal memories are mined and reconfigured through drawing, painting and sculpture. These various materials create connections among themselves, and ultimately create a new narrative. In my mind the work hovers between formalism and conceptualism much the way that memory and narrative elude concrete definitions.
My recent paintings focus on the inner space of the human body and are meditations on our material, our most intimate selves. They are influenced by the spirit of alchemy--adding and subtracting paint to achieve a chosen image or state of being. Following this spirit, I had no idea, when beginning the paintings, what would be the outcome of my struggle with materials. While the paintings are highly personal, I nevertheless considered formal aspects throughout the process.
There is an interesting combination of feminism and anti-feminism involved in the environments that some auto shows create. Ultimately the power ends up in the hands of the women who have the capability to distract the men and make them forget about why they were there in the first place. The cars become props for the women to display their sexuality and they may no longer have the importance that the car culture has established.
I received a BFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago, and I am currently a graduate photography student at California State University at Long Beach. I have exhibited throughout the Chicago and Los Angeles metropolitan areas, and I have received various scholarships and awards for photography.
My work began as a single painting and it evolved into a series of objects that reference painting and sculpture, all the while aware of its context. While working with the contrasts between a flat surface and the volume and shapes of a form, I explore a “Both And” practice: physical and spiritual, geometric and organic, abstract and specific… and so on.
An avid sailor Elise approaches metal work just like she would the ocean: with a great deal of preparation, as well as humility. Knowing that one cannot control everything, she confesses that sometimes “you just have to let the material speak.” She strongly believes in the power of emotions and her work ranges from serene to playful, while always showing her love and respect for craftsmanship and material.
On a typical early morning I will make coffee and meander out into the garden with my dog, Snapper. I have stations set up with old wooden easels and glass palettes. I work on large paintings for a long time. This Monet lifestyle also requires gardening, home repair, animal husbandry, child education, teaching, cooking up batches of fresh preserves, and having many friends. I am currently transforming my home into an artist’s salon and viewing space.
My current work delves into the human figure and psyche. I am interested in baring witness to cognitive dissonance of self-destruction, denial and dystopian societies, all this through the lens of observing our environment and the ramifications of our actions.
The suburban migration since the 1950’s closely aligns itself with the ideals of Modernity and we are now living in the aftermath. I reduce questions about our culture to colorful sweeps of paint, which evoke a gist of a societal mood and uncovered yearnings from dreams. The culture of the “American dream” fascinates me. These paintings exist to reflect what is born from the ideally planned lifestyle.
Hunter & Gatherer societies procure food without regard to replenishing the land. In contemporary society “Hunter & Gatherer” has come to symbolize the sexual division of labor. My work uses the family unit to address the questions: “What do contemporary men and women hunt and gather? Is it unique to gender?”. It also examines how modern society has adopted many of the true hunter gatherer roles: gathering food from our ever-producing markets, scavenging the sale bins, nomadic renting and house-flipping, leaving behind a wasteland, and leaving us still yearning for the rituals that once drove the hunt.
In my drawings and paintings, I use landscape as a metaphor for exploring dimensions of the mind and different states of being. Forms are derived from urban structures that are in a state of ruin or collapse. My process is an attempt to reconnect these elements through a build-up of layers of structures within structures.
I am interested in examining the boundaries that define spaces and objects. The work resists categorization as purely architecture, installation or object, existing as all three and therefore none of these alone. The work is also tied to an interest in phenomenology. Phenomenology studies conscious experience as experienced from the subjective or first person point of view. I attempt to engage the viewer as active participant and recognize their exchange as essential to the functioning of the work.
I make images of fictitious urban places. I’m interested in both revealing history and depicting possibility. My imagery comes from a composite of photographs I take in real places, though I’m starting a new series where I make and then draw from inaccurate architectural models.