Internal External: Juried Senior Exhibition
April 14 – May 20, 2012
Monday - Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday: Noon - 6:00 p.m.
April 14, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Gallery & Events Are Free & Open To The Public.
Megan P. Coyer
I am greatly inspired by the natural curves and lines of the body. The beauty of it is that everyone has a different line, a different curve, and so there is much to be motivated about. I take the lines and parts of the body which attract me, and draw them. To take that part and try to isolate the exact line or curve that calls to me has become my mission and enables me to make my sculptures.
With my work, I wish to make the viewer question what they are seeing, what they think they are seeing, how it relates to what they know and how they react to it the way they do. These parts of our bodies are connected to things all around us. This is made evident as people mistake my art for some tool, a silhouette, or even an animal. It is my hope that the viewer can see their own imperfections as beautiful, the way I do.
Film, graphic design and writing are essential to my artwork, professional work and daily life. These mediums serve as my platform for creative expression and are the air to my lungs.
My art is honest: often painfully so. My work is inspired by the personal and often results in physical renderings of experiences that encouraged or forced me to grow. To me, these moments are iridescent; some are beautiful, others terrifying. My art journeys between the understood and the uncomfortable, but this process needs to happen so I can continue to mature as a person and artist.
I only render what I understand at the moment I create it; I can only capture, explore and convey moments. My artwork is that: a moment in time, a rendering and understanding of myself and my environment. It gives the viewer a platform to find themselves as I continue to discover me.
I would say that I am above all else, a ceramicist. The versatility of clay is why I love it so much; it can be hand sculpted or thrown on a wheel, it can be made for functional or solely aesthetic purposes, and you never know exactly how the glaze will turn out. I like to call my current work, Figure Drawing with Clay, because it is inspired by the human form and my gesture drawings.
I have always drawn, but it wasn’t until I joined a figure drawing club that I found the same type of release in drawing as I do in pottery. The way I thought about the human body had become tainted by messages from the media such as, ‘Women should always be sexy, but not too sexy.’ It wasn’t until I was in a room with 20 other people who were also drawing a nude woman that I realized none of us were thinking anything sexual, and that’s how it should be. We were simply enjoying the challenge of capturing the model’s distinctive curves, wrinkles, and beauty marks, instead of viewing these things as flaws to be left out or airbrushed away. By portraying unique women who are unencumbered by fashion or accessories, I hope to give the viewer a sense of truth, timeless beauty, and empowerment.
I am a self–identified feminist oil painter whose work aims to be in direct dialogue with the portrayal of the female body throughout art history and popular culture. My work primarily takes the form of self–portraiture, which allows me to deepen both my personal and theoretical relationship to feminism.
John Berger’s discourse surrounding the history of the portrayal of the unclothed female body in his book Ways of Seeing greatly informs my work. It has pushed me to make the conscious decision to create a visual dialogue through my self–portraits that explores the relationship between my role as artist and the use of my body as artistic tool.
My most recent work, The Phoenix Trilogy, builds upon my theoretical outlook as a feminist as it addresses my past experience with domestic abuse. I approached the making of this work from the mind–set that personal experience can be universally understandable if it is rendered with enough honesty. This series of three paintings depicts my physical and emotional state in relationship to the abuse I withstood during my childhood and teenage years and my current feelings towards this personal history as a survivor of trauma.
Everywhere I go, I look at the urban structures around me and regard them as freely available for my artistic imagination. These pockets of buildings, streets and communities are reflected in my highly saturated paintings. I explore dichotomies here in the Twin Cities because I believe they are symbolic of the world at large. Urban landscapes, as shown in my Dinkytown series, echo the intersection between humans and the environment. Through my painting process for Dinkytown, I rendered the disparities within urban streets using complementary colors.
I have had the opportunity to travel along many streets around the United States and abroad which taught me that such divisions exist because of injustice and misunderstanding among people. Considering what I see, I question these injustices, wanting more for our world. My paintings empower me within these greater concepts. Images from the two series Dinkytown and The Texas/Mexico Border are a means to make connections between the everyday and the deeper level of living behind our routine, our environment and landscapes.
My artwork takes a critical view of social and cultural issues. Having engaged subjects as diverse as the Vietnam War, child trafficking, and notions of body image, my work reproduces familiar visual signs, arranging them into new conceptually layered pieces.
Often times these themes are combined into installations that feature non–traditional hues and influences of pop culture art. Doing so challenges the audience to discern the setting of the subject, thereby eliminating biases that distract from the enjoyment of the artwork.
While I use a variety of materials and processes in each project my methodology is consistent. Although there may not always be material similarities between the different projects, they are linked by recurring formal concerns and through the subject matter.
The series Metamorphosis of War represents the unconscious design of the Vietnam War on my life and the endeavors fought by my family and many soldiers to see through it.
While creating art I love the idea of figuring out ways to integrate my graphic design with my Fine Art. This way of working makes for a more personable style by referencing my graphic design work in terms of placement and graphic quality.
As both a graphic designer and a fine artist I create artwork for two reasons; emotional release of drawing and the pleasure of working with clients. I love helping clients bring their vision to life. I live for helping others, it comes naturally as I’ve worked in I.T. Support for several years. My inspiration comes from real world experiences and situations pertaining to my life whether it is something I’ve learned in class or my relationship with others. What drives me to create artwork is what captures my attention, be it world issues, culture or personal need. I mentally fixate over visuals that catch my attention or that I feel captures my voice.
My artwork encompasses a lot of emotion, which creates a very expressive line. I let the stroke express how I feel about the content. The majority of my work depicts my emotional relationship with the subject matter. I usually draw portraits of people who have significantly affected my life. My drawings posses a sketchy look due to the expressive movement of the whole arm. This movement helps release my emotional charge with the subject. I enjoy capturing facial expressions or freeze frame action moments. I’ve found that less is more and the artwork should speak for itself without adding extra or obsessing over detail.
The image above is a self portrait, however it strikingly resembles my father which is how this piece received its title: Memories of my father within me.
There is something significant for me about establishing a link between unsettling subject matter and a search for something as simple as beauty. This pursuit is present in my work through the process of making something dark appealing. I want to link cultural and social issues from the past to the present.
I have a love of certain golden ages like the Victorian Era and the Roaring ‘20’s for their cultures of charm and creativity darkened by underlying hostility. I view these periods as an escape from the present and what I see as an unavoidable future of increased greed and an intensifying quest for vanity. I combine surreal apocalyptic imagery as well as portraits of identity struggles from these eras in my artwork in order to present an unsettling vision to the viewer.
My love for history also ties into why I enjoy this medium of linoleum block printing more than others. My relationship to this medium is a connection to the way images were created in the past and it feels historical. It is a way for the process to be important and for the end product to be even more fulfilling for me.
The above work, Priorities 2, is a relief print that expresses the internal struggle some women faced in 1920’s America defining independence and weighing it versus marriage.