THE WHITE ROOM
The idea for this piece was inspired by the book Chromophobia (2000) by cultural theorist David Batchelor. The book tells a history of western aesthetic which has continually shunned the decorative and promoted whiteness, or a state of “blankness”, as the ideal. A mistrust of color, and a preference for whiteness, can be observed in classical marble sculpture, Modernist art and architecture, and films like Pleasantville and the Wizard of Oz. As Batchelor puts it: "To be colourful is to be distinctive & equally to be dismissed.”
Influenced by Batchelor’s argument, I used this piece to overtly foreground the elements I feel are most beautiful and authentic: the textures, patterns, and accumulations that evidence the tastes of the real people who once owned them. In The White Room, these decorative artifacts resist total obliteration by the gallery's white paint, leaving a literal and metaphorical "opening" for viewers to contemplate the difference between art and everyday life.
This piece was first exhibited at my solo exhibition Pentimenti at the Samek Gallery Downtown, Lewisburg, PA in winter 2013. It was enlarged and reconfigured in winter 2015 for my solo exhibition at the Center for Contemporary Art in Bedminster, NJ.