Totem

I have always been inspired by printed media, received images, and everyday objects as a springboard to consider my inner life and its relationship to the world. I use my daily subscription to the New York Times and ARTFORUM magazines as material wherein I tease out the complexities between form and information.  I intricately slice away sections of Artforum magazine with an Xacto blade, working free hand and intuitively. In this way, I explore personal contradictions by attempting perfection while accepting the vagaries created by the trace of my hand cutting. Through re-contextualizing and subverting the ARTFORUM magazine to my own ends, the masks become personal “power objects” that function in a similar way to ritual masks, fetish objects, and totems.

 

I also created totems from the Market Gauge pages in the New York Times. In “Copper Mask” I used copper leaf to lend more weight to the sculpture.  The mask hangs from a 57-inch steel armature so that it relates to the human scale.

 

During my Kala Art Institute Fellowship Award residency in Berkeley, I was challenged to come up with a digital process that would continue my tradition of creating art that reflects the trace of my hand in the work.  For my “Market Gauge Mask Series,” I created folded masks from the Market Gauge pages that were strictly created to photograph. I used a 4 x 5 view camera since that process is more hands-on and time consuming, thus giving the images a formal and contemplative style. I manipulated the images through Photoshop in order to make them look mysterious and murky, as in documents of an archeological dig from an earlier era. My intention was to create an immediate emotional response and then have the masks slowly reveal themselves as artifacts of present-day financial systems.

2018 Francesca Pastine

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