ARTIST STATEMENT

Museums – the containers of art – have been the content of my art for several years. Without a doubt, my training as an architect had something to do with my choosing to paint museums and museum spaces. But my interest also stems from years of visiting museums and the pleasure derived from these visits. Museums are magical places that can be as intriguing as the artworks they contain. Thus my interest in museum architecture grew to become a main theme of my work through series of formally different but conceptually related project cycles.

Whereas my early museum cycles or Architectures are mostly monochrome views of exhibition halls devoid of any human presence, I later began to include the people inside the museum. Visitors are depicted as they pause to look at art or calmly circulate in the exhibition halls under the watchful eye of guards or security agents. These photo-based interior views are overpainted with waves of colored glazes that float and drip across the surface of the painting, partially submerging the image. In Cutouts, the people have literally jumped out of their museum settings and detached from their contexts though they continue to interact with art that is no longer present.

The Cutouts series is both a complement to my paintings on paper and canvas and a separate work unto itself. The cutouts are either wall-mounted or suspended with string in groups or individually, on the wall or against the backdrop of a painting or a drawing. The possibilities are many. When installed on their own, viewers are presented with images of people looking at art on the walls around them, mirroring their own actions except for the objects originally viewed which are absent. Perhaps the Cutouts are commentaries on the importance of the viewer in the creation of meaning in art or merely replications of what is actually occurring in exhibition spaces everywhere. Certainly, they are depictions of the act of looking and the quest for meaning which are some of the reasons that bring people and art together.

New York, 2015

> Read a critical text by Claudia Conforti, July 2010