BFA Thesis Exhibit

Josh Engelhardt


Artist Statement

Soda bottles, phone cases, bumper stickers. Commercial art is the most accessible form of art. Auctioning off an original painting is reserved for the affluent, but even the homeless could hold a Basquiat if he collaborated with Pepsi. 
I chose tools as a canvas because we end up forging some of our most intimate relationships with the items we use. Works of art become companions in life, especially when they help you out. Wear them on your back and carry them in your pocket instead of stringing them up on a gallery wall. 
The designs we surround ourselves with also make statements about ourselves, and allow everyone to participate in artistry, fashion being the most obvious example. Bringing my thoughts to clothing was important for this reason. A magazine was the most logical vessel to document this type of work, substituting walls of text for experiences that merge written and visual language.  
Thematically, the pieces are a reminder that we ourselves are wildlife. As much a part of the natural world as any plant or animal. Bringing this idea to commercial art promises a return, or at least  acknowledgement, of the role nature plays in our daily lives.