Show and Tell

First up, join us for the artist’s reception for THROWN FROM THE STORM, by Jason Stout, this Saturday Nov. 5th, from 7-10pm. Be sure to also see all the gallery openings that night during our neighborhood’s art crawl, Arts and Music at Wedgwood Houston.

Next, Ground Floor Gallery + Studios is pleased to announce the curator for our 5th Annual Juried Art Exhibition will be NYC artist, Austin Thomas. Please see below for her bio and watch for our upcoming Artist Call. #MakeAmericaArtAgain #Eyeminded

Austin Thomas is a New York City artist, curator and community builder.  Her work has been exhibited at The Drawing Center, Murray Guy, The Sculpture Center, Art in General and at White columns (all in NYC) and internationally in Singapore, Australia, and Hungary and at the Kunsthalle Exnergasse in Vienna.   From 2007 to 2014, she directed the influential Pocket Utopia gallery, she now is director of special projects at Steven Harvey Fine Art.
She is a graduate of NYU and is represented by Undercurrent Projects located in the East Village.  In the Summer of 2016 her permanent public sculpture, Plaza Perch, for a new park in Brooklyn was unveiled.  She has also done public commissions for the Public Art Fund and Grinnell College. Thomas’s work is featured in the book titled “Living and Sustaining a Creative Life: Essays by 40 Working Artists” and will also be featured in that book’s sequel “The Artist as Culture Producer: Living and Sustaining a Creative Life,” which were both edited by Sharon Louden.

Lastly, Ground Floor Gallery currently has studios available, please contact info.groundfloorgallery@gmail.com for pricing, availability and to schedule a showing. Our studios offers 24/7 access, a supportive artist community and space to experiment.

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Thrown From the Storm, November 5th 7-10pm

Jason Stout will be showing a new body of work at Ground Floor Gallery November 5th, 7-10pm. This is a series that Jason began around a year ago after searching for ideas through some traditional still life painting. He was working on vanitas centered in a domestic setting, all of which included a cloud-filled window. Through time, the repeated appearance of these windows revealed something to Stout – a metaphor for “domestic turbulence.” He saw that our home lives can never be unlinked from the  turmoils of the culture outside. As if stepping into the painting and out of the window, Jason found a solution – clouds.memento-mori-back-room-gory

There were many political and social issues that Stout was trying to address in his paintings. Unfortunately, we live in a culture that moves on from a disturbance as quickly as it developed in the first place. The ongoing election, continued military efforts, and Black Lives Matter movement are certainly headliners in the media, but before the paint had dried on Jason’s canvas, the media had moved on. Painting takes longer to process. Clouds became a basis that allowed him to have a dialogue with these issues in a way that could keep up. They are metaphors on their own terms – fight clouds in a cartoon – as well as a form for these cultural problems to move in and out of, reacting to one another and drawing connections. Stout says, “It wasn’t about the issues, it was about all the overwhelming information and the tension and anxiety that comes from that.” He also talked about The cloud, befittingly calling it the “storage cloud super center.”

Stout said that “you hit this cloud and get spun around the edges of a square.” When looking at these paintings, this couldn’t be more true. Using a high pigment count and a sharp understanding of temperature and value push, these images vibrate almost like the work of Op Art. This makes sense after speaking with Jason. He absorbs and studies formal abstraction paintings more than just about anything else. He said, “You have to be aware of your audience, which is mainly artists, so what is their value system, how do you keep them interested?” He has successfully merged abstraction and narrative in a way you do not often see. Dana Schutz and Cecily Brown come to mind. The vibrancy and cartoon quality of his paintings make the cultural turmoil easier to stomach. At a certain point however, the formal candy that originally drew you becomes dizzying on its own account. Stout condenses the media frenzy into one swift moment.

Below, is an interview with the artist.

 

Your show is titled “Thrown From the Storm” -What is behind this choice?

I think all experiences, good, bad, young, old shape us in some fashion.  Since this series of work started as a play on fight clouds as a vehicle for metaphors of social and political conflict, the idea of a storm was always present.  But as the work developed, things started shooting out and being discarded, just like in stories from the news.  We rest on one issue then suddenly moving to the next, often with the conflict or issue being left without resolve.  Through my experience I often feel compelled or drawn into this conflict, and then thrown out when the media or nation moves, so in a sense, conceptually, thrown from the storm.  But as I’ve been making the work, that phrase kept coming up in my mind, “Thrown from the Storm…”, like a part of a song you can’t quite remember.  Then I placed it, Rimbaud!!!  It’s actually part of a line from Rimbaud’s poem The Drunken Boat, “Thrown from the storm into a birdless sky.” The poem is about pursuing life only to find out that you are limited by and bound to the conditions you are born into, your government, its position in the world, etc., and the poet’s response to that.  I haven’t read the poem since I was 20, but somehow it still resonates, and has been quite often lately.  

There is obviously something quite significant about your identity as a southern artist and your work’s identity as southern art. Can you talk more about this? What is the significance for each?

I think every artist has a conflict of sorts with where they are from.  Being an artist and being southern when I was younger seemed to be an impossibility.  It just wasn’t valued, more so, it was humored.  Not only that, I really had no other other artists to identify with.  Music however was valued, and its history, especially in Tennessee, and I always worried that the South would be purely a musical region and never invest in the visual arts heavily, because historically, that had been the case.  I remember then feeling the need to move away from that identity, wanting to be anything other than some west Tennessee kid, because there weren’t any in the art world.  But you can’t escape it, and ultimately, the things that you experience, the things that make you who you are, are the best things to make work about, because they are yours and no one else’s.  So at some point I just embraced it.

Do you have an idea of the image before the painting begins, or is it more of a set of ideas? What sort of planning goes on beforehand?  I usually start off with a set of drawings.  I’m always drawing, and when I find some drawings that gain momentum, either formally or conceptually, I develop a body.  Then I try to paint them, taking the best drawings from the set and converting them.  But I’m not bound to pure description of the drawing, and often, there are parts of the drawings that don’t translate into paintings, and those non- translatable parts are what really advance the paintings into something else.  Then I work on those, and when I exhaust the possibilities of the paintings, I take what advancements I get from the paintings and use that to start the next drawings.  Its cyclical for sure.   

There are pretty specific images and symbolism in your paintings. Is there something for you that is unifying them all or is it more of an invitation for the viewer to draw their own conclusions? I have a plan or an idea what the painting is about, but I leave areas where the viewer can infer their interpretation as well.  A lot of the objects in and outside of the storms in these paintings all have a duality, they are selected because for me they have several meanings and several purposes that are tied to our current time and narrative.  The beauty of this series is that people place different connotations on the objects and parts, and when they connect those connotations and weave a narrative with the compositional arrangement, that’s when the painting reveals itself, and the revelation is usually always different.

What role does abstraction play in your paintings?

I respond to abstraction because ambiguity is an element to the narratives, and that sometimes I just have certain instincts and interests as an artist that aren’t bound by depiction, and I obey those instincts.  Abstraction is a very basic and primal appetite, and I indulge it.  My paintings are primarily semi abstract, but I always wanted to make pictures that could be appealing to purely abstract painters and to people that loved narrative work or who responded to some imagery.  I think these paintings really balance those responsibilities well.  Plus my generation comes from a distorted period visually. From cartoons, to video games, to plastic surgery, everything is saturated, especially with television and advertising. We are definitely in a post human era.

To me, your paintings appear as though they are nebular and explosive. Is there
a reason behind this?

Sure, because it’s an extension of the metaphor.  Some of the works early on looked like explosions, and I was thinking of how the media gives a star quality to conflict.  So naturally I started thinking of nebulas, exploding and dying stars, and how the clouds could transcend to be more, how the clouds could have an extended duality to their presence and not be just earthly.  One of the contradictions of our time is that we understand more of the universe and earth than we ever have, but in contrast, there is a resentment of that understanding in some circles.  Plus we are in an atomic age, and I was thinking of that too.

These images bring to mind hip hop, graffiti, and political cartoons. Are these influences for the work? If so, why?

I grew up in the rise of rap and hip hop in the early 80’s and 90’s.  I always connected to the stories, the poetry, the attention to class issues in the hip hop.  It was new, it was fresh, and is resonated with me.  Plus there was an anti authority aspect of it made me question institutions I was taught not to question.  Graffiti was part of the visual aesthetic, plus, in some respects, the first real abstraction I experienced.  I grew up in a railroad town, and the trains that came through, usually from Chicago and other larger cities, would be covered in images and tags.  I’m sure I assimilated it somehow, though I’m not consciously aware of it when I work.

You are interested in power structures within our culture. What specifically do you think draws you to this subject matter?

It dissects everything we are, most of what we do, and how we consume.  In a capitalist society, I think we have to constantly be questioning and re-evaluating our power structures or we risk falling victim to a slumbered existence.  I would like to avoid sleepwalking.  

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Join us for Aggregate, a group show

This Saturday, October 1st, Ground Floor Gallery will be hosting open studios alongside a group show of our artists. Stop by after the art crawl when our gallery opens at 7:30. Studios  open 9-10:30.

Featured artists:

  • Anna Rainous
  • Bobby Becker
  • Carri Jobe
  • Cassie Harner
  • Devin Goebel
  • Dez Hough
  • Georganna Greene
  • Janet Decker Yanez
  • Jovanni Luna
  • Mandy Brown
  • Meg McGregor
  • Mihail Tomescu
  • Sibley Barlow
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An Interview with Katie Hargrave

“History Repeats Itself” is a new body of work by Chattanooga-based artist Katie Hargrave. “History Repeats Itself” explores the 2016 election season through a series of new pieces: “Listen to Wolf” is a video installation of Bernie and Hillary trying not to talk over each other at the primary debate; “Cease and Desist Karaoke” is a custom-karaoke of songs used by past and present candidates without the permission of the musicians. Do your best Trump impression of “Can’t Get No Satisfaction” alongside Palin’s “Barracuda;” and finally the titular piece “History Repeats Itself” are a series of take-away posters of redacted speeches of all 16 GOP candidates with the duplicate words removed. Part satire, part catharsis, join in exploring the absurdity of this political moment.

Below is an interview with the artist.

 

You’re based in Chattanooga, TN right now. I’m curious to know what the art community is like there.

The community is small. I think Chattanooga is a growing city, there are more and more people who are moving to the city, but the art community I think is still pretty small. There are many people who are making work, but not many whose primary form of employment is art. There aren’t a ton of galleries, but that is slowly starting to change. We have maybe two DIY art spaces and a couple of established non-profits and just a few commercial galleries.

 

Tell me about the work you will be showing at GfG.

It’s going to be three main pieces, all of the work is about this election cycle. I’ve sort of been thinking about how we regular Americans plug into that cycle. There is the broadsheet project which covers all of the GOP candidates. I’ve removed all of the duplicate words from each of their speeches. The first person to announce has the most unique words and the last to announce has the least, because over time everything became repeated. I know they are going to be available for free, first come first serve, at the opening. I guess I’m sort of thinking about how it feels when you look at the way they speak; they don’t say a whole lot in any of their speeches, and whatever the touchstone thing is that week, that is what emerges as the content, and the rest is total formula. They think they’re wise, and then they don’t say much. They talk about whatever it is going on in the media that week, and that’s it. So you don’t have to listen to the whole thing if you can just pick out those elements right? With the formula, you still get some of the unique information so you still get the name of the spouse, you get the name of the children and then you get some of the stuff that is happening in that moment. For instance, when everyone was talking about Hillary’s emails and Benghazi, you see that show up, regardless.

 

Have you done this with other speeches from our past, or is it just this election cycle?

Yeah I originally started think about this when I did it by hand for Lincoln’s second inaugural just out of curiosity and also the Gettysburg Address just to see what they would sound like. Those really sound like poetry. They are the same in that you still get the basic gist of the speech but there is this poem that emerges. They are such strong speeches to begin with. I think that they hold up and they change, but they still have their elegance. That doesn’t really feel like the right use for this idea, so I was able to write a computer program that would automate it and that allowed me to go through these bigger texts. This cycle has been so absurd and there have been so many of them so it’s kind of like what happened?

 

So you see a huge difference in how politicians have structured these things over time.

Right. The second piece is a custom karaoke which uses songs that presidential candidates have gotten cease and desist letters from. So for instance, Trump is not allowed to use Rolling Stones songs anymore. So this cd has all the songs that candidates have used, for example, Sarah Palin can’t use Barracuda.

 

Why is that?

Just because they used them without getting permission from the artist. And actually they are all GOP candidates, the democratic candidates have never had this happen to them. So I have these sort of halloween masks of all the candidates and the idea is that you would wear one of the masks while karaoking to whatever the song is. It is more of the idea for me rather than whether or not it will be used. It will be interesting to see what happens. It’s like an installation that can be participatory, but it doesn’t matter to me if people do it. It will be ridiculous if it happens.

The third piece is footage from one of the democratic debates between Bernie and Hillary. It was one of the last ones and they were just screaming over each other, you know, not being able to get a word in. Wolf Blitzer stopped them and said, “If you keep screaming at each other the voters won’t be able to hear what you’re saying.” I went through that debate footage and removed all of the speaking so it’s just the pauses and the applause when they are trying to catch their breath. There are two monitors so one includes applause for Bernie as he is pausing and one is for Hillary when she is pausing and breathing. That footage moves back and forth between the two so they are in sync and in conversation with one another.

 

Tell me about your childhood experiences with art if any, or in your case, maybe experiences with community or history?

In terms of art, I was fortunate to have an aunt who was a professional artist, so I spent a lot of time with her, going to museums and talking to other working artists. I knew from an early age that that was I wanted to do. It has totally changed since then though. I went to school for painting but I haven’t made a painting in probably 10 years. The work has gotten more conceptual as time has gone on. When I was growing up we spent every vacation driving around the U.S. and stopping at historic sites. I’ve been to a dozen presidential homes. Every Civil War battlefield we drove past, we stopped at. I think that was just the way my parents thought about killing time and entertaining us, but also making sure we understood the history of this place. I think I have gotten more critical of what is represented in those sites, and I think my parents have become more critical. From that I got interested in fleshing out the more complicated things and understanding what is left out of that story.

 

Do you think they became more critical because of your work?

I don’t know about that. I think they became more critical just with what is happening. It’s hard not to be critical. I think there is definitely a nerd factor in the work. It is what I’m interested in learning about and that’s why I make what I make. I was joking with a curator that I think the audience for my work is school children and retired men who are interested in railroads. It’s not particularly trendy work.

 

You said in your statement that you are “interested in a poetic and quiet activism”- What comes of this as opposed to the more stereotypical forms of activism? Is there something to be said of subtlety vs aggression?

I have an activist practice outside of my work; I’m very involved in my community. I’m not a very outgoing person, I’m not a very loud person, so I try to think about other ways to have an effect on the world and I think education is one of those. Things like opening up space for people to learn about things, that can be liberatory. So if we know the story we can decide how to move within it. I think the idea of history being written by the victor is flawed. How can the people who have been negatively impacted by that history, or don’t feel like that history speaks to them take on a revisionist tactic? If you are already aware of that stuff then what do you do? So it’s hard to know the effect of the work and maybe that’s why I say it’s more quiet. I guess it’s more propositional. I also think that participatory art in itself is an activist practice because art can be very exclusionary and elitist, and so if we get the audience actually think that they have some power over the work and can participate in the work then I think we can have more people who feel that they can have creative practices.

 

Do you find more power in one or the other?

Well they are just different. I was recently volunteering for a progressive political campaign and it’s not what I want to do – I do it – but that also feels very preachy. It’s like you’re trying to tell people what is best for them and in my work I don’t want to do that. I want to create some space for people to think about other possibilities.      

 

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History Repeats Itself by Katie Hargrave

Hargrave--Donald Trump

Last year Katie Hargrave was named “Best in Show,” for her artwork in our National Exhibition, “Mark,” juried by Adrienne Outlaw. Join us Saturday, September 3rd between 6-9pm, during the Arts & Music @ Wedgewood Houston and the Downtown Art Crawls, to view her prized solo exhibition of most recent work inspired by the happenings in our political landscape.

 

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Universal Spaces

Join us for the artist’s reception this Saturday, June 18th between 6-9pm for Jovanni Luna‘s solo exhibition “Universal Spaces.” In the meantime, catch the write up and interview Sibley Barlow did with him:

Luna's paintcans

Jovanni Luna is showing new work at Ground Floor Gallery. His solo show, Universal Spaces, includes sculptural paintings exploring the idea of memory. The opening reception will take place this Saturday, June 18th, from 6­-9pm. I stopped by Jovanni’s studio to talk about his work. It was more like stepping into a painting rather than an artist’s studio, as his paintskins had taken over the walls. Below is a slightly condensed version of our conversation.

Sibley Barlow: So this is new work, but it’s a continuation of what you have been doing for a while. What is new about what you are doing?

Jovanni Luna: The rolls themselves I’ve spent about two years making, experimenting with them, seeing what I can accomplish with the rolls on the shelves. The new thing right now is that I’ve been thinking about color. I mentioned before I was very much just about process, so color really was just whatever I had, because it’s all donated house paint. So whatever I had
was what I used. Whenever I would make my paint skins, it
didn’t really matter to me what colors I was using. But I’ve been
focusing a lot on color now with the paint skins, thinking okay,
what colors will I be using first and last. Everything else will be in
the middle so from time to time you will be able to see it from the
top maybe, if it’s thick enough. For the most part it’s that first
layer I apply and the last that you are going to be able to see on
the roll itself. So since I’ve been thinking more about color I’ve
been painting the shelves, and trying to keep sort of
monochromatic theme and tying that into a conceptual narrative
overall. With the show, Universal Spaces, I’ve been thinking
about moments in our lives, when we kind of know they are
about to end. During that time we start grabbing and trying to
retain every bit of information that we can, knowing very well
that it’s going to end soon. So you’re trying to remember the scent, the sounds, every single texture around you that makes up the space. Even though, as soon as that moment is over it’s starts becoming abstract; you’re not going to remember it all. And as time goes on you’ll remember even less and it just keeps becoming more abstract.

SB: Yeah I was actually going to ask you about that. I read that you had talked about memories in relation to your work and process. Are you kind of pulling out your own memories and interacting with them, or are you visually representing memory as an idea?

JL:They’re my own memories. But I pick ones that seem a little more general, that more people might have experienced as well. So for this one in the studio here I was thinking of a sunset and that experience of watching one and knowing you’re seeing the sun go down and it’s soon to be over. And that moment, whether you’re by yourself or with someone else watching that sunset, you are trying to retain everything ­ what is going on, your emotions, whatever you are thinking, the actual physical space. Even though, most likely, after the sun goes down, you won’t really remember that sunset. Most likely, you’ll probably create a new memory based on what you know about sunsets, whether it’s images you’ve seen online, or movies or previous sunsets that you’ve already seen. All that is what you’re going to use to create this memory that isn’t actually the one you just experienced!

SB: That idea makes a lot of sense with the fact of your process being the most important part of the piece. That’s the same issue you have with not being able to remember things, you have time going by, the process of that, it’s not a condensed thing.

JL: Yeah. Even the materiality of it fits well with this, layers of memory, layers of time, the fact that all this paint is donated. So the paint itself has memories attached to it. A lot of these cans that people donate have labels, like this one­ “master bedroom” so even the paint itself has a bunch of memories attached to it.

SB: How do you go about getting all this paint?

JL: The majority of this, this time around has been through craigslist, I just made a post asking for paint. but the way it started was by me writing up a letter in grad school, explaining who I was as an artist, what I do, the material I was using and why I was using it. I would go through random neighborhoods and then just drop off letters essentially just asking if the had any leftover paint just stored in their garage or under their sinks that they didn’t want and they would leave it out on their driveway and I would pick it up the following weekend. And that worked really well, like the very first time I did it I wasn’t sure if it was even going to work, and then I got 20 gallons out of not even a full block of houses that received the letters. And sure, they’re not even full, and some of it is even bad, it’s not even good paint. But at the same time I have continued to use the used house paint as an idea of recycling as well. So even if its paint thats gone bad I’m okay with taking it because I will just dispose of it properly. Whereas people, even if they know how to, it’s a hassle to properly throw it out so they just keep it stored in their homes and at some point they will just throw it away which is bad for the environment. So this way, I feel good about using the donated house paint and house paint in general.

SB: So is this kind of where the idea of memory came from? Seeing the old plans that people had for the paint, or was that already a thing for you?

JL: No I think the memory thing at least for this show, started with just this last year I’ve been in Nashville. I’ve only been here a year. It is very much this transitional period of being done with school for good. It’s the first time I haven’t been in school. Just figuring all that out, how to have a full time job, while maintaining a studio practice. Whilst maintaining a social life! So in this one year there has been a lot I’ve needed to figure out. And deciding to move to a place where I didn’t know anyone was an added challenge. So the idea of the memories was based on the experiences that I’ve had within this last year living in Nashville. But I wanted these ideas to be general and be able to reflect on anyone.

SB: How did you come to the paint roll? Was that an accident?

JL: No that actually was based on procrastination. Throughout the first year of grad school it was just experimenting with the paintskin material. I would drape it, make huge sheets and peel it all into one big piece. I would stretch them over other things, I was doing some rolling but it was larger pieces. I was still thinking of it as this repetitive action of rolling. During this period was working on all these large projects that I believed to be the right direction but then I would get tired of it. While in my studio I would find scraps of the skins on the ground and I would start rolling them up. This was a way to procrastinate from what it was I believed was my “actual” projects. So I would spend a half hour, at least, rolling up the paintskin very carefully. I would carefully cut the end and carve into them, so I was doing this to take up time and relax and after a while it stopped being procrastination and became a way to take a break from the other experiments that I was doing. I just slowly kept adding to them, and the more I had the more people kept wanting to talk about them. They would see them in the corner of my studio and be intrigued and want to know more about them. Every time I would just say no that’s just for me, that’s not my real work and ignore the question and steer them back to the real work I was trying to make. That summer between the first year and second, I was thinking of what I wanted to do for my thesis show. I knew I wanted to do something big and very challenging. I wanted to do something that was going to take the entire year to make. After reflecting on the critiques from that first year I remembered all the comments about those small rolls and said okay, I’m going to make 10,000 of these rolls. I came to that number based on how many I had already made. I was trying to find that perfect number of how many I could possibly make in a year. By no means did I want to hit the number halfway through. I wanted to be crunching to the last possible minute.

SB: Let alone, just the act of counting out 10,000 pieces of something had to be a bit of a challenge.

JL: It was! Once I knew I was getting close to it I became smart about the counting. I was storing them in paint cans and I would write the number of them on the can and put it away. I was counting two or three hundred and then counting them from there. I think right now I would say I’m around 15,000. All the ones in this show are new, ones I’ve made recently.

SB: Do you feel that this is something you are going to continue to do for a while, the rolls? Or will they evolve from themselves?

JL: The rolls will forever be made. I don’t think I will ever stop making these rolls. I know I have a lot of other projects I want to do that don’t involve the rolls and I think that is most likely what will happen in the future. I will start to develop other projects, and still deal the house paint, paintskins. The rolls themselves, right now I’m still at the beginning stage. I still wonder what all I can make with these. I know even when I stop making these sculptural paintings and start working on the other paintskin projects I’ll still be doing these. It may go back to me creating these as a way to procrastinate. That’s still way into the future, I still have a lot of ideas of what to do with the rolls themselves.

SB: That’s a really exciting place to be, to have so much potential.

JL: Yes. For example, I’ve been photographing these individually, as if they were people, so they are portraits in a way. I don’t want to document them all, I don’t see a reason for me to do so. But I do want to document the majority of them and just have another full collection of all these rolls

SB: That’s really interesting because there is no way you would ever be able to repeat one.

JL: Right. And when I’m making them or just looking at them on their own I do think of them as characters or individual people because of that, because they’re all unique. As hard as I try there will never be two identical ones.

Luna's Studio Photo

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“How to Love Living Things” by Meg Stein

How To Love Living Things
Solo Exhibition by Meg Stein
Opens Friday, May 20th, 6-9pm
Runs May 1-June 4
Show title borrowed from the poem “A Child Without Arms Running Through a Field (Wyoming)” by Rachel McKibbens, published in her book Into the Dark & Emptying Field.
No Shame in Wanting-largeNo Shame in Wanting, 18” x 26” x 10”, 2016, erasers, nylon stockings, cosmetic wedges, no-slip rug mat, diapers, women’s slip, pillow stuffing, ear plugs, sewing pins, hair curlers, egg whiskers
Through repetitious processes that reference “women’s work,” I transform implements of domesticity into startling, otherworldly forms. These biomorphic sculptures oscillate between dream and nightmare, mimicking known life—such as sea life and reproductive organs—while remaining alien.
My sculptures transform everyday detritus—loaded with social assumptions about gender and class roles—into bursting, unknown life, complete with ambiguous new gender classifications and power hierarchies that are full of potential. Unsettling interrogations of feminine stereotypes, they collapse the space between comfort and threat.
Pillowcases, sheer stockings and bath loofahs become bulbous appendages, glistening orifices and billowing innards. Bath mats that once kept human feet dry are re-imagined as vital tentacles used for collecting food.
My work is inspired by an absurd, futuristic vision: Imagine that you leave your household items in the woods with a group of women for five million years and, through their simple labor, the women evolve these items into evocative, feminine oddities, a marriage of wild and domestic.
Propelled by this vision, I dissect and reconstruct household accoutrements into fantastic and psychological sculptural organisms. My work anticipates a sensual, soft-edged world, punctuated by a ‘post-metamorphosis’ of gender roles.
—Meg Stein, 2016
Meg Stein is a sculptor, animator and installation artist from Durham, NC. Most recently her work has been exhibited in Portland (OR), South Carolina, Louisiana, North Carolina, Atlanta, Brooklyn, and Philadelphia. In 2016 she was in residence at Yaddo in Saratoga Springs, NY. She has been an Artist-in-Residence at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, FL (2014), at “Wetland” by Mary Mattingly in Philadelphia’s FringeArts (2014), a Regional Emerging Artist-in-Residence at Artspace in Raleigh, NC (2014), a resident artist at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in Amherst, VA (2015) and an Artist-in-Residence at the Indie Grits Film Festival in Columbia, SC (2015).  She was a participant in New York Arts Practicum in 2014, working with Simone Leigh. In 2012 she won the David A. Dowdy Jr. Award for Sculpture, was nominated for the International Sculpture Center’s Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award (2014), won a merit scholarship for the Ox-Bow School of Art in Saugatuck, MI (2014) and won 3rd place in the National Compact Competition at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA (2015). She earned her MFA in Studio Art from UNC Chapel Hill in 2014. More information is available at megstein.com. You can contact her at meg.stein.artist@gmail.com.
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