This newest series of sculpture using unaltered Styrofoam, takes the viewer far into the future and asks them to become archeologists, holding up a mirror to our present-day society. What is imaged back, in the form of these colorful and obsessively adorned Styrofoam pieces, is a kind of "fossilizing" of history. They bookmark our moment in this civilization. These "fossils" are an attempt to re-write history. The intention for the original Styrofoam is elevated to one of a seemingly precious object, conceptually reversing the role that Styrofoam packing material plays in the hierarchy of our global economy.
This series of work with Styrofoam is both formal in its approach to color and form. Color choices are intuitively derived at from harmonies and discords used by painters, both historically and Contemporary. The mark making is dictated by the form of the unaltered Styrofoam. All sides of the pieces are addressed and can be configured in various ways to accommodate a given space.
It's interesting to imagine oneself as an excavator hundreds of years from now, uncovering these forms, and questioning their hierarchical importance and purpose in the past.
It's challenging not to slip into a feeling of a looming Apocalypse, to the demise of the United States as the supreme Super Power in the world; this dominant force that I have been accustomed to all my life. The ongoing economic disasters, natural calamities, and intolerance present in today's society add to this uncertainty. This aggregate of forms tries to capture those feelings, albeit subversively, while wooing the viewer with a seductive exterior surface. It acknowledges the proliferation of acquisition by our consumer-driven society and slants it in a different light. It hints at a lost civilization, a Xanadu that was once a beacon of excess and have-alls. These pieces are the apotheosis of what was great; landmarks of a hedonistic, out-of-control consumer culture where "excess was not enough."
Artist Bio / CV
Ms. Scholnick was born in Brooklyn, New York but grew up in Southern California. She graduated from The Claremont Graduate University in 1991 with an MFA in sculpture. From 1994 to 1999 Ms. Scholnick lived in Japan. She received an artist residency from the Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo which took place in Imadate, Japan, one of the few thriving papermaking cities.
Upon returning to Los Angeles, Ms. Scholnick continues to make work that questions existing notions of gender, racial, sexual and social inequalities. The form the work takes is eclectic; from film to sculpture to works on paper. Her approach is sometimes humorous as with the “Hello Kitty Gets A Mouth” and “John Wayne” series. Her film “Hello Kitty Gets A Mouth” was selected for inclusion into several film festivals in the U.S.A. In 2006 her piece The Massage (from the John Wayne series) was included in the exhibition Defamation of Character at PS1/MOMA.
Ms. Scholnick currently lives and maintains a studio in Los Angeles, California. She is represented by CB1 Gallery in Los Angeles ( www.cb1gallery.com, Director: Clyde Beswick). Please see a current CV on the typepad site www.jaimescholnick.typepad.com.