Artificial Sweetener • Homage to Tom • Gray Animations
Dates: 06/30 - 07/15
Saturdays, 09:00am - 1:00pm
Sundays, 09:00am - 1:00pm
Artificial Sweetener is both an exhibition and an exploration of
psychological "stickiness." In these photographs, I use food materials that are largely glutinous-candies, pastries, and sugary treats- to explore the stickiness of certain psychological spaces that are internalized from familial experiences. The substances I use are often heavy, sweet, sugar-based confections, widely used in processed foods as well as within the household setting for baked goods. They express both excess and absence, as these particular foods are the epitome of 'junk foods,' high in additives and artificial sweeteners, but provide no value to the human body, oftentimes causing it harm. This material serves as a stand in for an inescapable, smothering stickiness of the psychological and emotional spaces I am photographically exploring. The Artificial Sweetener installation is a way to visually explore and re-contextualize the shifting systems that are present within a nuclear family- to question an assumed knowledge of the past and the invented realities we often create for ourselves and for others.
In Homage to Tom, Nathan Peck pays tribute to his friend Tom, who inspired him to create from scraps and found objects. Several times Tom coordinated projects that aimed to have artists make work with the waste-stream of downtown businesses. He called his project the Green Office Challenge. I call mine Homage to Tom.
Beyond getting the inspiration to make art with our waste-stream, I also was inspired to title this piece Homage to Tom because of the compositions. When I look at these works I see either a complex water system or a strange board game. Tom worked for the Water Department, and we invented a bad ass board game called Abstracticus.
Abstracticus is a fantastic blur between Parcheesi and improv with a heavy dose of game show. The only rule of abstractions is that you have to be willing to play along.
Tom has been on my mind quite a bit recently. He passed away last year and since his memorial service an enormous portrait of him has hung in my studio. Tom didn’t make art, but he always mad a lot of art happen. He made this art happen so this is an Homage to Tom.