MFA Thesis Exhibit

Taylor Keister

Alfred-Düsseldorf Painting


Artist Statement

I am using installation in painting to develop narratives and abstract storylines about the tangibility and or misinterpretation of presence. Speaking to the temporality of people and place, I am highlighting the overlooked to confuse or disturb the comfortability of repetition, challenging perspective and posing questions to the expected. Through a commercialized vocabulary of color and pattern, I create overly decorated interior and exterior spaces that seem like a fraud or mask for reality, hiding behind a “sugar-coated” veil of false presentation. Taking kitsch by the horns, the work addresses childhood, family dynamics, the distorted sense of home, and time. The paintings obtain a certain object-hood, both in the physicality of the paint and through installation, that becomes like a posed reality or “living still-life”. Wrapped in gold, but empty enough that you could blow it over. Padded and packaged, enticing and tantalizing, they offer an interaction with the viewer, seeking a concrete presence to challenge their own. Relationships, moments, and memories somehow fade into obliteration, with only subtle footprints to remind us that it even happened. What do you grab on to and what do you choose to be present for? The people that come and go out of your life are the supporting actors, while the stained rim of the coffee cup, or the flannel that you left swung over the chair after you got home are just the marks that you hit before the director yells “END SCENE”. The paintings act as anecdotes or evidence of time. Toying with the past, present, and future, they feel still, like something just happened or is about to. They confront the unsettling fragmentation of time and place, the lonely, the waiting, and the forgotten. Like a set design, the work stands in place, waiting to be read back to front, side to side, or up and down. What happens when the linear path instead trickles in like raindrops, shifting and staggering down the dotted yellow line.