This thesis examines the concepts and ideas that pervade my body of work in painting. These concepts include immersion and scale, interactions in space, harmony and disunity, flat and dimensional space and perhaps most importantly, ambiguity. I intentionally use these formal devices to create immersive environments that appear as a familiar but skewed version of reality. By forcing together disparate languages of visual representation into the theoretical space of a painting, I strive to expose some of the humor and decay of our social institutions. In using the format of collage, my paintings have the opportunity to incorporate a wide array of iconography and imagery, while adding commentary through their juxtapositions. This thesis further explores the notion of oversaturation of images in media and how it has resulted in a clashing of imagery in the public space, akin to the format of collage in art-making. By using more easily readable or accessible iconography like cartoons or digital images to draw viewers in to the work on a visceral level, I discuss how the audience becomes witness to something sinister or something in the process of decay. Since I do not fully understand my own position as an artist and consumer of images, painting serves as a way to examine and question my relationship to society and culture as a whole. The artworks are inevitably questions in themselves: Who is to blame? What does it mean to be American? What is my duty as an artist?
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Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
School of Visual Arts and Design
Emerging Media; Studio Art and the Computer
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Kalemba, Nicholas, "Changing the Channel: A Study of Agenda, Immersion and Social Commentary in Art" (2019). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 6317.