What is your background?
I was born in a small town in Northern California. From a very young age I was drawn to art and it became a centric part of my life. I was always making something – playing with different materials and experimenting. I grew up in a creative family who recognized my artistic inclinations and encouraged me to pursue what I loved. At age 10, I moved with my family to Las Vegas, Nevada where I lived until 2014 when I moved to Bloomington, Indiana to pursue a MFA in Painting at Indiana University. In 2016, after graduating from IU, I moved to the D.C. area. I had always wanted to live on the East Coast and I saw this as a good opportunity to challenge my work and myself in a new place.
Geographically, where are you resident or active as an artist?
I am currently living and making art in Las Vegas, Nevada. I recently relocated to Las Vegas from the D.C. metro area. Although I have a dedicated studio within my home, I have adopted an “anywhere and everywhere” studio practice over the years, meaning I work wherever is most conducive at the time and meets the needs of the project. I have developed a kind of nomadic and transitory studio practice that allows me to have a home base, primarily for storing my materials and developing my ideas, but a practice that also gives me the freedom to transplant a piece of work from place to place or change my environment if necessary. I think a large part of being an artist is adapting and coping with change. I have had many studios over the years, all with unique conditions and climates. Each creative space has altered my practice, my chosen media, the scale of my work, and how I think about and create my work. The environment of a studio has a significant impact on the work that is made in that space, which is why I define my studio as an idea that I can carry with me rather than a singular physical location.
What does your work aim to say?
My work revolves around the body, food and sexuality and aims to activate pleasure, desire and sensory stimulation by creating opportunities for transformative and emotive experiences. I engage these ideas through the interplay of suggestive forms, materials, colors and textures, resulting in strangely beautiful and oddly satisfying pieces and installations. My process pulls from palpable and personal experiences that I regurgitate as visceral abstractions. In this way, my work is inclusive, fantasizing the intimacies and vulnerabilities of shared human experiences with a playful provocation.
How does your work comment on current social and political influences?
While my work does not directly comment on social and political issues, the materials and techniques I choose to incorporate into my process inevitably convey certain associations. I’m a material junkie and my practice is rooted in experimentation. I don’t tend to select materials for their social or cultural significance, but I make a point of being aware of those connotations. I like to work with inexpensive craft materials that I used a lot as a kid, such as glitter, gel pens and puffy paints. I’m intrigued by the conversation surrounding the use of lowbrow materials to create professional piece of work. I re-purpose found objects and older pieces because I can’t stand wastefulness. A lot of the materials I use are perceived as traditionally feminine and employ a historicity of female craft.
What are the obstacles that female artists still encounter today in regard to their art, or the fact it's made by a woman?
I think the obstacles female artists face today are the same as the issues female artists have encountered throughout history. Women and their work haven’t been taken seriously simply because they’re women. I think it’s important that women stand by their work, but I also think it’s important that the art world, and the world in general, appreciate an artist’s contribution regardless of gender.
What advantages are there for being a woman in the art world?
I think female artists today are more often regarded as being independently successful based on their own merit compared to recent history when the success of female artists was often dependent upon the influence of their successful male counterparts and mentors. I have always been proud to be female, but I think now is an especially exciting time to be a woman and a female artist. There is power in femininity. In art made by women today, I see an unapologetic approach that embraces the female experience, while simultaneously welcoming inclusivity for anyone interested in engaging or willing to participate.
Washington D.C. - USA