IMMATER(REALITY) is a series of mixed-media artworks that translate consumer culture into disjointed, fantastical spaces. Items such as notebooks, water bottles, and laptops covered in stickers are source material for investigating identity performance through consumptive habits under capitalism. The act of decorating everyday possessions with stickers entails both performance and consumption, broadcasting to others our interests based on the sorts of things we purchase or enjoy. This decor signifies the products of global capitalism, and simultaneously acts as a site of expression within an increasingly isolated and individualist society; a passive way of informing others of one’s personality and interests. These stickers are transient commitments of paper and glue, intended to instigate connections but destined to be discarded.
In my drawings, I take rubbings of sticker-encrusted surfaces, and overlap the forms arbitrarily until a new and fragmented pictorial space begins to take shape. Some of these spaces accumulate to depict something familiar, like a bed, while others are more abstract and imaginative – all of which synthesize and collapse psychological desires with the physical world. My use of bright colors and reflective, sparkling surfaces aims to entice the attention of the viewer, much like stickers and other merchandise are designed to attract buyers. Art critic and theorist Eleanor Heartney writes about identity in postmodern theory that “the self has no stable core, but is rather an illusion cobbled together from our internalized motley collection of media images, social messages, and manipulated desires.” There are many modes of bodily decoration which apply to this idea of the self, however, my body of work explores more specifically expression in physical space and possessions.
The accumulated images in IMMATER(REALITY) become metaphysical portraits, palimpsests of blue-light specters built from surfaces plastered in mediated images and advertisements in the form of stickers that convey a collaged construction of self in our over-consumptive, media-saturated culture.