Date of Award

12-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Legacy Department

Visual Arts

Advisor

Professor Sydney Cross

Committee Member

Professor Kathleen Thum

Committee Member

Dr. Beth Lauritis

Abstract

My art seeks to question the social value of labor. Throughout history, labor hierarchies influenced by social class and economic stigmas have informed how laborers are viewed in the United States. Physical jobs such as menial and domestic work are a common form of invisible labor that experience debasement and stereotyping. In my art, I use labor-based and ordinary objects as a metaphor for the worker, linking the value or disposability of the object to the societal value of labor. This critique of labor is enhanced by the manipulation of text, by the formal tools of scale and perspective, and by the use of everyday materials as substrates for printed and drawn images. An expressive hand in drawing works to render the unique identities of objects and combats notions of the object as disposable and the worker as anonymous. These combined elements create themes of irony, subversion, and empowerment that elevate the ordinary. In referencing the ordinary, my art rethinks the Pop Art movement, critiquing societal values as opposed to questioning what art can be. While my art offers comfortable approachability through its formal qualities, subliminal cues created by challenging an object's function and meaning encourage a reconsideration of perceived social differences and assert the value of even the most basic types of work.

Share

COinS