ONE PIECE: Alyssa Tauber
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ONE PIECE: Alyssa Tauber


Our exhibit, SEVEN PRINTMAKERS is on view until April 15, so if you haven't checked it out you've got a little time still. We've admired Alyssa Tauber's work for years, so we were very excited when she accepted our invitation to be part of this exhibit. Below is her "One Piece" entry, which is as entirely captivating and thorough as her artwork. 

As an undergraduate I studied literature as well as art, and writers have been important influences on my work. I am interested, not in illustrating their stories, but in understanding their ideas. One of the most important ideas I found was William Faulkner’s conviction that a person could find worthy subjects in the vicinity of her “own little postage stamp of native soil,” as Faulkner put it. This was not obvious to everybody at the time -- many writers from the U.S. and Latin America felt they needed to go to Europe to find worthy topics. I want to make art which is accessible to everyone, not just people who have art degrees, and part of making the work accessible is using subjects which most people can relate to. Consequently, I try to find my subjects in the places I myself have been and the objects I myself have seen or lived with. Wind turbines have become part of the midwestern landscape.

Alyssa Tauber, Tripods, Collagraph, 22 x 27 

Drive for any distance and you are likely to see either the blades being transported, or the turbines themselves. No matter how many times I see the turbines, they always catch my attention. They are, after all, hard to miss. They are huge, man-made, industrial objects situated in pastoral landscapes, where they seem incongruous. They look even stranger at night, when some of them have a “face” consisting of red lights. I’m often interested in objects which can be personified, such as chairs, which have “arms” and “legs,” and the turbines seem to have “faces” and “arms” as well as bodies. This makes them appear almost monstrous. The title of the piece, “The Tripods,” is an allusion to the alien machines in H. G. Wells’ novel The War of the Worlds. In this print the word “tripods” could refer to the three blades, or the three “creatures” themselves. The title leads to another element which drew me to the turbines -- their ambiguity. Some people see them as “good” objects -- they provide clean, renewable energy, and are sometimes viewed as symbols of the midwest. However, others see them as “bad” objects -- they kill birds, take up space which could be used for farming, appear inconsistent with the “rural” quality of the landscape, and are noisy.
My art invites the viewer to confront this ambiguity for him-- or herself.

04/01/2017 1:55 PM |Add a comment
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