As an artist who has been deaf since birth, I have learned to examine my place in the world by creating paintings that derive from memories of a disturbed childhood. A major theme is the manner in which those around me: family, teachers, speech therapists, and others reacted to me. For most of my early years, I was perceived as someone who needed to be “fixed” and the attempts to fix me were close to suffocating. The incidents and encounters that I depict in my work, actual or imagined, encapsulate the social and linguistic awkwardness that was the result of my misguided upbringing.
To communicate this struggle through my art, I create characters who explore the uneasiness and often bittersweet experience from the challenges I encounter. As a deaf person, I depend on my imagination to fill in the gaps in my incomplete world. In my art, industrial plastic sheets and water-based paints and inks are the vehicles that allow me to re-program my experiences, my vulnerable nature, my memories and my imagination. I use Mylar, an industrial and translucent medium, that allows me to paint and repaint using acrylic and inks so that the image can be seen on the reverse. It also represents the idea of memories that are often unclear, yet fluid. Through persistence of memory, they slowly become the narrative thread of my life and surrounding. These are represented as characters and motifs in my drawings. In a recent series, these characters roam the landscape: a middle-aged female head attached to a dog’s body, air balloons resembling scalps, voice boxes, and bubbles appearing from anuses that spew text and images. I fill these “assbubbles,” with highly charged thoughts and stereotypical imagery. My characters appear and reappear in different manifestations; they transform into other characters or become hybridized versions of other characters. My world, which can often seem incomplete, is the stimulus for my imagination. Industrial plastic sheets and water-based paints and inks are the vehicles that allow me to re-program my experiences, my vulnerable nature, my memories and my imagination.
Artist Bio / CV
Born: Anaheim, C.A.
Work/Live: New York, NY
• 2006 M.F.A. School of Visual Arts, Studio Art, New York, NY
• 2002 Syracuse University, Exchange Student, London, United Kingdom
• 2002 B.S. Rochester Institute of Technology, New Media Design, Rochester, NY
• 2006 Every Day is Different, Michael Steinberg Fine Art, New York, NY
• 2006 A Delicate Arrangement, Curator: Dan Cameron, David Zwirner Gallery, New York, NY
• 2006 Art for Healing, Mushroom Arts/American Cancer Society, Flushing, NY
• 2006 Twelve Eyes, Curators: Sarah Braman, Philip Grauer, and Wallace Whitney, Visual Arts Gallery, New York, NY
• 2005 Becoming Contemporary Masters, Studio Place Arts Gallery, Barre, VT
• 2005 Scope Festival, Michael Steinberg Fine Arts, New York, NY
• 2006 Alumni Association Award, School of Visual Arts, New York, NY
• 2006 MFA Department of Studio Art Scholarship, School of Visual Arts, New York, NY
• 2005 Caitlin Shamberg, “A Day in the Life,” KOREAM, September 2005, p. 62 – 65