Adrienne

Sacks

MFA Painting

My work investigates the ways in which all of us, the clowns of late capitalism, must perform in a manner that perpetuates the collective drama and trauma of contemporary American culture and late global capitalism. By emulating mannequins, comfort objects, cartoon characters, and audio-animatronics, we come to function as fools and entertainers.

 

I’m obsessed with the optimism and naivete of late twentieth century popular culture and its reinterpretation in this moment of inconvenient truths. Drawing on psychology in theory and in practice, my work embraces affect through an investigation of marginal aesthetics, navigating the cute, campy, gimmick-y, abject, uncanny, and haunted.

 

I harvest objects cast off of the belly of the beast: Los Angeles big-box stores, chain department and drug stores, dollar stores, and e-commerce giants to create absurdly tangible sculptural representations of the beasts themselves. As figures, they operate as uncanny abjections; as abjections, they disturb the conventional identity of their source material and embody representations of personal and collective trauma and the consequences of repressing and stuffing it under the saccharine- a sort of camp-existentialism. I use oil painting to position my practice historically and illustrate the abstract notion of my own complicity in consumption and production of contemporary visual motifs.

stuffed animal with a red hat and one leg

a happy new year, 2020

Found audio-animatronic, stuffed animals, plastic eyes, fake eyelashes, press-on acrylic nails, and jingle bell, 9” x 10” x 15”

rainbow colors, pinks, purple, and blue swirls painting on canvas

comfort object, 2019

Oil, plastic, and glitter on canvas, 84” x 48”

painting with lots of movement

Gestural Sentimentality, 2020

Oil and graphite on canvas, 84” x 48”

Duck plush with brown yarn hair and a ballerina dress

Uglie, 2019

Stuffed animals, 14” x 10” x 7”