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Ethos of Surface

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Item Summary

Title:Ethos of Surface
Authors:Pellanda, Carson James
Contributors:Drexler, Debra (advisor)
Art (department)
Keywords:Art education
abandoned
graffiti
material
painting
show 2 morepost-vandalism
surface
show less
Date Issued:2020
Publisher:University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Abstract:Through the process of re-framing, re-sampling, and visually cropping, I explore post-vandalism, graffiti art and visual histories embedded in the ethos of surface. The multi-layered surfaces of my paintings reference the tension between the construction and deconstruction of forgotten places in the American landscape that are left behind and transformed by time and by the damage of being exposed and weather-beaten. Referencing the often overlooked surfaces in the everyday vernacular of urban built environments, I examine the ethos by referencing the spirit of the culture responsible for these damaged landscapes manifested through its beliefs and aspirations. I do this by simulating constructed elements such as brick, torn posters, decayed paint and weathering, while deconstructing those elements to emulate a surface that would be found in a built environment such as those on derelict buildings, alleyways, rooftops, train carts, and abandoned places. These surfaces inhabit the same environment as newer buildings and surfaces such as advertisements and fresh paint. I find them interesting, because I see unity within their disorder, and a history of content in the context of the surrounding landscape.
My MFA exhibition, Ethos of Surface, is a series of large-scale paintings that reference the effects of time and space on urban surfaces in the interest of material phenomenology. My inspiration lies in the notion of creating a simulacrum with a similar dichotomy of aesthetics as a surface with a worn history. Through a simulation of process, I aim to present my paintings as an abstract composition in a combined whole, along with a look deeper into the parts that make the whole. Each painting is an accumulation of layers that references some of the common vernaculars and illegible content that accumulate on abandoned surfaces. I attempt this by using a variety of paints and pasted ephemera, while also suggesting the casual application and buffing process of graffiti. The paintings are done in large-scale to imply large surfaces, but represent only a small fragment of the whole. Using a combination of paints, found and self-made materials, I attempt to create work that implies a realistic surface reflecting imaginary ideologies like those of the American Dream and other simulated realities. Each painting is meant to pose as an encounter for the viewer, and bring attention to familiar content in a new way.
Pages/Duration:29 pages
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/10125/68938
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: M.F.A. - Art


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