Aimee Chappell-Hertog

In my initial artistic endeavors I did not understand the value of using found objects. After becoming a mother, however, I was forced to employ more material items in my daily life. I began recycling utilitarian objects into my art, creating sculptural forms from discarded clothing, kitchenware and other commonplace materials. I was influenced by Joseph Cornellʼs work with found objects and frequent viewings of Alexander Calderʼs Circus, responding to its gritty playfulness. Ultimately I realized the importance of aligning the content of my art with the materials used to construct it.

 

I make art about the chaos of contemporary existence, especially domestic chaos as I have experienced it. My work directly opposes the myth of domestic bliss that is propagated in the media as the dream of young women. The energetic construction of my sculptures mirrors my interior chaos and the exterior turmoil of my life. A rabid mix of colors and forms creates a domestic stew that includes the visceral aspects of childhood: baby puke, peanut butter, broken toys. I often use bright colors in an ironic manner, since the seemingly cheerful household objects I employ become grotesque creature-like forms. Some objects are transformed with paint or deconstructed. Others are left in their raw state, such as pieces of fabric, dead flowers and broken glass. My most recent sculptures, pairing feminine tropes alongside violent visual distortions, reflect the struggle women face in constructing and retaining their identities within a stringent cultural climate.

 

Concurrently with my sculptures, I create digital photographs in which my sculptures are placed into a two-dimensional landscape where they clearly look out of place. My sculptures become actors in narratives involving friendly visitors or slightly perturbed outsiders. At other times their roles are those of victim or aggressor. With these photos, I record the dysfunction of contemporary society with particular emphasis on the exploration of female identity.

  • Mother of the Bride
  • Mother of the Bride
  • Mixed media 

  • Wedding Gown Closeup
  • Wedding Gown Closeup
  • Mixed media 

  • Ladder
  • Ladder
  • Mixed media

  • Studio View
  • Studio View
  •  Mixed Media

Built with Apostrophe