Rachel Selekman
Medium: Sculpture and Collage

Studio Location:
540 President Street
Studio # 14

Phone: 347-986-9172

Website:: www.rachelselekman.com

Artist Bio:
Rachel Selekman is a visual artist based in Brooklyn who received her BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art and her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she received a full-tuition scholarship. Her catalogue, Rachel Selekman: Making Connections, which surveys her sculpture and works on paper, was published in 2014. Recent exhibitions include a solo show at Rosemont College in Rosemont, PA, and group exhibitions at the Invisible Dog Art Center, Brooklyn; Marc Straus Gallery, NYC; Brooklyn Academy of Music; Galerie Aurel Scheibler, Berlin; Schoolhouse Gallery, Provincetown, MA; and Lesley Heller Workspace, NYC; to name a few. Selekman's work is in numerous public and private collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, Microsoft, and the Montefiore Medical Center. Commissioned pieces can be found at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and the Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville.

Artist Statement:
In my sculptures and works on paper, reference to the human body, the use of everyday objects, fine craftsmanship, and the dynamism of elements that literally, in the sculptures, or figuratively, in the collages, reach out to the viewer are paramount. The sculptures from 2009 and 2010 explore the dynamics of relationships, of intimacy--how people engage and interact. "The Conversation" and "The Lovers" show two "figures" in this dynamic, whereas "Mouth Wide Open," as a single figure/object, implicates the viewer in the pas de deux. In "The Listener" the action suggested is "taking things in"--reception and synthesis---as the title suggests. These scenarios take form in mixed-media sculptures that have watering can bases and/or watering can remnants, stand-ins for the human body and skin, respectively.

Wall sculptures sans watering cans, "Reveal (Taking Stock 1)" and "Burst 4 (Taking Stock 2)" are departures from earlier pieces and indicative of the direction of my forthcoming 3D pieces. Deciding to start incorporating all the materials I have left over from other pieces into new work, "Reveal," for example, includes almost all the beads, buttons, and sew-ons from my stockpile, as well as leftover fabric. "Burst 4" used up most of my leftover velvet flowers and some of the watering can scraps I've saved, and in both pieces, "taking stock" in the title references this approach.

This self-imposed directive came to be for two reasons: a milestone birthday and the accompanying reflections and my day-to-day life as an avid recycler, composter, and upcycler. With these practices in mind, I thought, why let all these beautiful materials lay fallow in my closet? So moving forward, I will use my stockpile to make visually complex and engaging sculptures.

In my collages, I strive to create a sense of movement and energy. Content is derived from personal experience and also from images found in jewelry and watch auction catalogues. The collages employ a lexicon of images--flowers, watch faces, and hourglasses, among others. Some pieces reference the woman's body, grounding them in female experience, while others explore human relationships through more suggestive imagery. In "Double Spray," two sprays (figures) "meet," then collide and ricochet, exploring how couples engage. In "Double Jewelled Bouquet" and "Double Jewelled Wreath," inspiration came from the flower jewelry in the catalogues. Embroidery and ornamentation provide texture, sparkle, complexity, and pay homage to the rich history of women's work.




All images and text copyright Rachel Selekman