Carolyn Oberst, Alone/Together - Original Painting
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15 x 13 inches
Oil on canvas
Originally from Philadelphia, where she worked as a photo stylist, interdisciplinary artist Carolyn Oberst eventually settled in New York after stints abroad in the UK, southern Spain, and Morocco. In her most current works, she has returned to the directness of oil painting on canvas or paper.
"My body of work, including painting, drawing, and sculpture, interrogates the construction of memory, nostalgia, themes of self-fashioning, and how codes of behavior are embedded in all forms of visual media. Contemporary cultural icons have been inserted or spliced into the work, exploring how the absorption of media at all ages has an indelible impact on the conception of self and others. I’m interested in how analog and digital media have the capacity to re-affirm or challenge societal expectations and conventions about gender, identity, and behavior.
The strategic juxtaposition of organic and geometric forms in my compositions serves as a way of visualizing the internal impulses of the mind. The shapes represent reason and order, with some artworks featuring amorphous shards that stand in for past subjective experiences. Regarding the figures, I am playing with how profile, contour, posture, and gesture have the ability to communicate traits about anonymous subjects. I’m encouraging viewers to consider the necessary balance between raw, unmediated expression and more rationalized, guarded modes of communication.
Intentionally, there are no overarching narrative structures in these works. This is a visual strategy deployed to engage the viewer in his or her interpretation of the constructed pastiche of figures, forms, and references. These motifs can be combined and re-combined to arrive at distinctly different outcomes based on an individual’s experiences and assumptions."
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