Nicholas Patton MFA Visual Studies Thesis 2015
The Objects of My Affection
The artwork I am creating for my thesis project is comprised of a body of discreet sculptures that are crafted and assembled out of found objects. In my thesis work, found objects represent the cast-off products of humanity (scrap metal, old toys, clothing, etc.), and the unassuming detritus of nature (wood, stone, etc.). My thesis work’s relationship to found objects, in an art historical context, begins early in the 20th century with Marcel Duchamp’s readymades and extends to contemporary found-object and assemblage artists. In my assemblage sculptures, I wrap, glue, and bolt found objects together in order to transform them into a singular hybrid form. I create sculptural tableaus by placing a number of discreet objects in relation to one another and presenting them as a unified system of interrelating forms. I focus on creating subtle formal relationships between different objects by comparing similarities in shapes, colors, and textures, etc., while also juxtaposing formal qualities (high chroma with low chroma, soft materials with hard materials, smooth textures with rough textures, etc.), in order to create dynamic and puzzling interactions within my sculptures. I coat and cover found objects in various paints, resins, and fabrics, a process that partially obscures the original objects while simultaneously creating a sense of cohesiveness and unity in the final form.