My art focuses on the use of abstraction and repetition to create an immersive experience for viewers. In my practice I challenge myself to use the most affordable and accessible materials I can find, often making use of leftover scraps and scavenged or collected items. My focus lies mainly on sculpture, with an emphasis on the use of textiles and found materials. These sculptures are often time-intensive and require similar repetitive movements to make, using repetition as both an aesthetic element and as part of the creative process. Repetition is an integral part of my work, making the process both meditative and a form of escape. The goal is for the process of creation to become part of the experience when viewing, allowing for the viewer to feel a similar sense of immersion and escape. When it comes to two-dimensional work, I focus mostly on watercolor mixed with pencil and marker. My practice is inspired by the way I created art in high school, where I often worked in my room on a limited budget, using whatever pieces of paper I had lying around. Although at that time I desired to work with more expensive materials, such as oil and canvas, I began to enjoy the accessibility of watercolor, along with the way it allowed me to mix the processes of painting and drawing in one piece. I carried this mindset with me as I began sculpting, leading to my use of found materials.
One of my major inspirations is nature, especially the ocean environment that surrounds me in Isla Vista, which I was struck by after moving here from the Silicon Valley. The repetitive patterns within nature are beautiful, yet can be difficult to replicate within art. I use abstraction and pattern as a way to try to mimic these natural elements and the way they can be both harmonious and chaotic. Another thing that inspires my art is the belief that art can be created without a large budget and that oftentimes so-called “trash” or materials found in nature can create interesting and unexpected work. I am interested in materialism and the way we consume items and spend money. These themes can be seen in my piece Made In, which was created from clothing tags I collected from myself and my housemates. Being thrifty in my work challenges ideas of consumerism and overconsumption, as well as the notion that fine art has to be created with certain higher-end materials. I see the limitations that I put upon myself as an opportunity to experiment within my practice and push objects beyond their intended uses.
This way of creating has served me during the pandemic, a time in which space and resources can be hard to come by. As it becomes more difficult to find inspiration the longer I stay indoors, the things that surround us can be used as a starting point when creating work. One of my pieces, Lake Cachuma Meets Isla Vista, is a dedication to the lake that I used to row on, but no longer can due to the pandemic. I used things found in my home, such as bottle caps and liquor bottles, to create the mountain range that surrounds the lake. The piece is a meshing of the two worlds: the natural one of the lake and the other of the so-called “party town” of Isla Vista. It also mourns the loss of the sport that I cherished as a college student. The recreation of the lake using household materials is an attempt to bring some aspect of the environment that I miss greatly within my household during quarantine.