In the ongoing Hollowed Ground series I further explore the corrupting influence of power and status, representing this insidious poisoning through the beautifully grotesque deformation of its subjects. This series also offers an illustration of how once meaningful and even sacred moral foundations can be exploited for personal gain, hollowing them of any real or perceived nobility, transforming them into defiled and crumbing ruins, ruins which betray their fragility.
watercolor and graphite on paper 30x22in
This series grew from personal experiences working in a hospital setting with children and adolescents. These images offer a window to a strange world, threatening in its ambiguity.
This series investigates the ambiguity and complexity of assessing and treating mental health symptoms through close examination of a body in distress. Intentionally, the five pieces, meant to be arranged and rearranged, cannot be resolved as a single coherent figure.
watercolor on board, 3x5in
Although all art making is in a way a response to an individual's environment, response art is a technique often employed in art therapy where an individual investigates their psychological or physiological response to a specific event, situation, relationship, emotion, or cognition which impacted them. This focused investigation is meant to allow for processing of the event and prompt further insight and deeper understanding. The pieces shown here are a sample of my personal response art to a variety of situations.
This collaboratively constructed comic allowed a community of individuals to choose where and how the protagonist moved through her imagined world. As Caroline encounters what appears to be discarded junk waiting to be picked up on the side of the road, the collaborating storytellers were asked to step into her shoes and transform each item, whether it was a paper towel tube, vacuum, or cardboard box, into whatever they could imagine, guiding Caroline on a strange journey. Drawn in stages, I illustrated the story up to the instance where Caroline encountered a new object to transform. At this point I would ask for input from my collaborators and the transformation chosen from the various suggestions would then inform the next stage of the narrative. As the story progresses the reader is also offered this same chance to contribute, free to build their own world in the final pages.
Collaborating storytellers: Carolina Schlenker, Christine Moody, Desa Henn, Joseph Duratinsky, Krista Boyce, Scott Boyce, Mary Robinson, Francisco Schlenker, Richard Frye, Rista Plate, Seth Anglin, Thomas Schlenker, and Tomas Schlenker.
This series investigates the insidious and poisoning influence of power, status, and wealth within the political apparatus. These corrupting pathogens distort and disfigure their hosts leaving grotesque yet captivating caricatures. To produce this series I created one painting every week for six months resulting in 24 total works.
watercolor on paper, 12x9in
This series deals with environmental issues of soil contamination. Chicago, with a long history as an industrial city and transportation hub, has significant problems with contamination of top soil, largely with lead (Pb), but also thorium (Th) and arsenic (As). Each of these elements are highly toxic to humans and repeated exposure can cause extremely serious health and developmental problems. To produce this series I researched ten distinct areas within Chicago that suffer high levels of soil contamination and created a mud stencil for each location. Each stencil contains the periodic symbol of the contaminating element and the graphic representation of the neighborhood it is found in. I painted each work of ephemeral graffiti within its corresponding neighborhood using dirt gathered on site. Painted neighborhoods include the Loop (Pb), Pilsen (Pb), Uptown (Pb), Rogers Park (Pb), Avondale (As), Bridgeport (Pb), Bucktown (Pb), Streetersville (Th), Little Village (Pb), and Bronzeville (Pb).
soil and water on walls and walkways
This screen print series deals with issues of environmental extraction and degradation, of the exploitation of "human capital," and the restlessness of the oppressed. These themes are investigated through the popular aesthetic of comic book covers. In creating only the covers of these comic narratives the viewer is given the opportunity to imagine how the story unfolds and is challenged to visualize the conflicts and solutions which bring the struggle to a close.
four color screen prints on paper, 12x9in
Screen printing has a long history as a media used in political, protest, and populist movements, due in part to the ease, speed, and cost of the process. The process renders bold, impactful images. Appropriate to the media, the various themes I explore in this collection of prints include issues of wealth, social stratification, subjugation, and dehumanization.
screen print on paper
Certain images demand multiple forms. Rendered in different media and dimention an image can often communicate different ideas, prompt different discussions, and provoke different emotions. These pieces illustrate this idea as I mine an image for multiple forms, rendering it both in two dimensions (flat) and three dimensions (fat).
Many themes and images are ripe with multiple interpretations, narratives, and meanings. In these series I begin with a base screen printed image which is elaborated upon with other media. Each piece within the series tells a different chapter in a story or a different stage in an equation. However, together the work speaks loudest, the whole being more than the sum of its parts.
The human figure is central to my artwork, providing an anchor around which my work revolves. While much of my artwork deals with an elaboration or a distortion of the human figure, for me the figure itself is uniquely and infinitely fascinating and relevant.
graphite and charcoal on paper