Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Message from the Gallery Director, Angela Leed

In my artwork I explore the contemporary relationship between manufactured industrial products and the worker. The tenuous exchange of dependency and sustainability creates an existence that blurs the separation between human and object. I believe this ethereal space stimulates an important discussion that questions the way in which we have, and are, shaping the human experience.

The pastel work in this series uses the still life sculptural set-up to magnify this battle ground between the organic and artificial. I am intrigued by the physical and psychological tension, subjugation, and isolation that exist within this gap. Items, such as a corrugated plastic dumpster lid, are pushed and pulled beyond original intent, in a metaphoric conversation concerning the worker’s struggle to retain individuality in the face of unending repetition. Meanwhile, the color palette of these works rebuts the existence of such a reality. The overall warm, richness indicates the object must surrender, or at least acknowledge, the existence of a natural being.

Purposefully, the object is centrally located within the composition. No opportunity is given to the peripheral space in attempt to replicate the atmosphere within which the average factory worker lives. Additionally, the pastel medium contains a dusty, grittiness that further enhances the manufacturing plant environment.

While the physicality of this work is aesthetically dynamic, one of the most powerful aspects is the psychological component. The manipulation of the industrial object speaks of the emotional and mental modification a worker undergoes. The result of which is still in question. Is the inward dependency of the convex form claustrophobic or comforting? Does an object pushing past boundaries represent an act of triumph or defeated restraint?

The connection between the worker and mass produced industrial object continues to have a great influence in our interpretation and definition of the human experience. There is a continual shifting of importance from one to the other. My work visually articulates this always in motion, expanding and waning, interchange. The goal of the work is to not to glorify the agony of struggle against the object or praise the freedom of overcoming the organic nature of a human being, but rather to participate and revel in the beauty of the active intangible found between the two.

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