Artist Statement

 

Saturated colors, abstract shapes, and synthetic materials are the methods I use to explore the mundane traces of motor oil stains in our society. While alluding to the loss that these stains represent, I create new silhouettes and patterns to signify the design aesthetic of the synthetic. I study, document and then manipulate these remnants so that the traces of these stains take shape and dissolve. I utilize a variety of mediums in this process including photography, sharpie markers, water and oil based paint pens, motor oil, gouache, watercolor paper, and digital manipulation. Within each work there is a negotiation of saturated colors, bare surfaces and intensity of materials. The surfaces oscillate between restlessness and hope. The unrest is seen in the contour drawings of actual stains and function as metaphorical investigations of what is left behind. The color placement and smooth lines of the new forms represent the spiritual gain of lubrication while resting in the void.

© 2018 by Tonja Graves / gravestonja@gmail.com

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