2014 B.F.A. with a focus in Painting
Nostalgia investigates the relationship between the past and present by interpreting the act of reminiscing about toys, figurines, and other childhood objects. I make large, brightly colored abstract paintings that revive mid 20th century Abstract Expressionism with a contemporary twist. Inspired by Abstract Expressionist artists such as Howard Hodgkin, Hans Hofmann, and Willem de Kooning, and contemporary artists Pia Fries and Cecily Brown, I validate the importance of childhood objects and my personal understanding of nostalgia.
Various scholars view nostalgia as oppositional to progress—my paintings redefine nostalgia as a retreat to the past, a layering of present outlooks on life with personal memories. These paintings are founded at the juncture of now and then; a judgment of the past through the eyes of the present. Nostalgia invites a longing forged in the dissipation of simplicity as innocence is lost. At the heart of each of these paintings is a prized possession from my childhood that would have been seen by renowned art critic of the 1940s, Clement Greenberg, as “kitsch”. Seeing my belongings in this light causes inner conflict, because it strips away the validity of their importance and individuality. By adding personal insight and hidden complexity, I synthesize abstract expressionist language with common objects and call upon the viewer to reconcile the ironic combinations presented in this series.