The work of eight artists completing their Master of Fine Arts degrees at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will be on display in Sincerely Yours, curated by Kim Bobier and Russell Gullette, both pursuing graduate degrees in Art History in UNC-Chapel Hill’s Art Department.
Presenting the broad range of artistic practices within contemporary art today, Sincerely Yours, aims to illuminate ways in which art can separate genuine expression from strictly sentimental or sardonic connotations, revealing sincerity to be a subversive strategy. Each artist in Sincerely Yours, openly addresses uncomfortable subject matter in ways that demonstrate the complexity of embracing such candor at the present moment.
Images in paintings and graphic blankets by William Thomas draw on racial stereotypes, prompting questions about race’s impact on our everyday lives. Ali Halperin transforms commercial products into grotesque tar sculptures in an exploration of how commodity fetishism mediates relationships between individuals and society. Nicole Bauguss uses domestic architecture to frankly examine how the places we inhabit and the memories we share shape identity, as does George Jenne using an intimate, narrative video. Landscape paintings by Damian Stamer and a site-specific fiber installation by Lauren Salazar deploy seemingly passé artistic interests—craft, realism, and the countryside— to re-animate familiar visual languages. Sculpture by Julia Gootzeit and video by Michael Iauch strategically mine our alienation from nature, creating possible avenues through which to reestablish a close connection.
Together, these artists engage timely topics including but not limited to social prejudice, sexual confinement, capitalist hegemony, and outmoded forms of expression, as well as people’s estrangement from their cultural roots and the natural environment. While tackling such critical concerns, they use sincere inquiry as a means of reorienting artistic practice, illuminating overlooked perspectives, and imagining new ones. In the face of cultural indifference, the works in Sincerely Yours, challenge assumptions through earnest and sophisticated approaches to both individual and collective identity.
Image Credit: George Jenne, Spooky Understands, 2013; color HD video, TRT 21:27 minutes. Courtesy of the artist.