As is the case in much of my work, my personal experience is used as a point of departure. When I am seeking comfort, I gravitate towards structure (routine, pattern, familiarity, balance) and candy/sweets. Intrigued by the contrast between these two ways of comforting myself, I conceived a series of images that would speak to this tension.
I started by creating highly patterned and structured compositions out of candy (regular, geometric-shaped candies I associate with my childhood – nostalgia is also comforting – such as Lifesavers, Necco wafers, Pez, Licorice twists) and photographing them, relatively close up. The colored patterns and grid structure created by the arrangement of candies, as well as the scale of the prints, invoke Minimalist painting and Op art. For quite some time, my work has functioned in dialogue with artistic traditions that I reference and rework. My interest here is to re-invest these visual approaches with social and cultural meanings that extend beyond the frame of abstraction.
Finding comfort in candy and finding comfort in structure do not have the same resonance in our culture. Turning to candy for comfort implies indulgence and weakness, whereas turning to structure implies restraint, power, control. These associations, I would argue, are highly gendered. By presenting these two very different comforts within the same context, I attempt to forefront the contrasting values associated with each. Additionally, as in earlier projects, I am interested in contaminating high art with objects and elements from popular culture. On the one hand, I irreverently render Minimilast masterpieces in drugstore candy, and on the othe hand, I turn common candy into beautiful abstract compositions.