While studying art history I became really interested in the question of art accessibility, and wrote my senior thesis on this theme through the lens of the Crystal Bridges Museum. I’ve always been drawn to everyday materials and processes — sharpies, stamps, stencils, hole punching, and embossing — and inspired by everyday life, which is why I’m so drawn to the pop art movement and its focus on everyday objects. In my collages and mixed media I’ve been drawing on political and cultural events, not in a didactic way, but to capture through my art important moments we’re living through. (Examples are my collages of the eyes of American soldiers killed in the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan, newspaper headlines of mass shootings, covers of magazines that body-shame women, a collage from OkCupid consisting of what New Yorkers are looking for in a date). In my mixed media work I’m interested in using social media (Instagram, Facebook, Reddit, Snapchat) to explore traditional genres — creating a still life from an Instagram photo or a landscape from Snapchat.
At the same time in our tech addicted world, where speed is glorified, I want to create art that brings serenity and wonder into peoples lives. Inspired by Buddhist art, particularly mandalas, I use repetition and the exploration of one image or detail, to create opportunities to pause and reflect.
I love it when my art evokes in others their own creativity, especially in a world where so many people are afraid to tap into their artistic side. Because I use materials that are so accessible, and that can be found lying around the house, I hope my art can act as an entry point for people who otherwise might be intimidated by fine art. That’s also why I’m interested in elevating “art and crafts” — something we’ve all done as children and that can reconnect us with art later in life.
— ISABELLA HUFFINGTON