Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Fine Arts


Visual Arts


Professor. Patrick Mahon


This intergraded article thesis has three distinct chapters. Chapter one is an extended artist’s statement that begins with a brief overview of my artistic interests. I present the theories and frameworks that have informed my thinking in the development of my MFA project. I explain how I have undertaken a material exploration of a vinyl product, and a conceptual exploration of its use as décor to emphasize what I refer to as the ‘Latin Feel.’ The following questions are extrapolated: What is the Latin American relationship with this material? And further, what meaning does this object generate in this context? Descriptions and analyses of two artists whose works have influenced my project are provided. Chapter two is a comparative case study two artists, David Altmejd and Doris Salcedo, framed using the theory of defamiliarization as a means to assess the complexities and meanings of a type of abstraction. I examine the work of each artist in order to understand the intersection and interdependencies of art and culture. I propose that each artist’s interactions with narratives of broader social import challenge the autonomous state in which art is often placed in contemporary discourse. Chapter three is comprised of visual representation of body of work I have made during my MFA candidacy.