MFA | Studio
I am a third-year MFA student in painting, living and working in South Bend, Indiana. My main interests within my work include hauntology and dead American shopping malls along with music and architectural theory. Some of my favorite artists that inspire my process are artists such as Kay Sage, Alksandra Exter, Kasimir Malevich, Lazlo Moholy-Nagy, David Hockney, Patrick Nagel and the Memphis Group. I am also drawn to postmodern architecture and interior design as well as fast food restaurant design from the ‘80s and ‘90s.
Imagining Haunting: ‘Elsewheres and Elsewhens’
The geometric forms and motifs of modernist aesthetic have transformed into emblems of the past that have become entangled, recycled, and associated with consumerism and commodity goods. Modernism promised a utopia that never arrived. How we imagine the failure of this future is the focus of my Master of Fine Arts thesis and thesis exhibition Imagining Haunting: ‘Elsewheres and Elsewhens’. In this exhibition, large scale oil paintings on canvas combine the pictorial language of geometric abstraction from the early 20th-century European avant-garde with 1990’s American mall aesthetic. I consider the fusion of these time periods as a material means to incorporate recycled forms as a reference to the inherent optimism in a utopian future that has continually failed to materialize. Using the dying shopping mall as a point of departure for my work, this recontextualization is an attempt to illustrate that the past continually reminds us of the future’s failure in the form of haunting. I argue that failure is directly embedded within the very fabric of modernist aesthetics. Modernism poses a utopia within reach, but only offers empty promises of failed hopes and futures that are struck with the harsh reality of anxieties. I believe this is a direct manifestation of the imagery itself: fractured, disintegrated, and fragmented within its flat and desolate void.