Vanessa Madrid

My current work is an investigation into the vulnerabilities of the body and psyche, and the joyful acceptance of both. I see these as the most interesting part of us, the essential components of humanness.  I'm interested in awkward states of transition, of indecision, the unraveling or becoming that indicate a state of flux. The slick skin of vinyl precisely mimics skin’s resilience and vulnerability, and is therefore my medium of choice. It is “exterior” and synthetic, a taut casing for the soft yet firm interior. This dialogue between interior and exterior is at the core of my work. 

Following the thread of interior and exterior led me to investigate the places where something once was, the places of absence and longing, and how we live with “lack” physically, emotionally and spiritually. The growing or shrinking of our awareness of this absence, how it festers, or heals – this “space” is always present in my work. The absent places, or places of rest or isolation are reflective of psychological states, fears and desires. Systems of channels lead toward and away from negative spaces, functioning as conduits from exterior to interior physical and mental states. Presence and absence, the skin and interior body, states of becoming and un-becoming - these dialectics drive my art practice.

The movie Star Wars is the visual starting point for the Death Star series.  Working with the "Death Star"  as a physical creation as well as a concept, I've distilled down the visual language into elemental shapes, where circuits and channels open to allow flow or areas of safety or entrapment. These spaces reflect on both inner space and outer space; they may be a place of solace, reflection, emptiness or longing. My work aims to examine an inner/outer, public/private relationship with self and space, what I see as the essential components of humanness.

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