Sabina Ott, "Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful," polystyrene, ink jet print on paper mounted on sintra, spray enamel, flashe, mirror and spider plant 49"H x 48" W x 14" D, 2011

“Inevitably the roles between the painter and the visible switch. That is why so many painters have said that things look at them. As Andre Marchand HAS IT, [says, after Klee:] “In a forest, I have felt many times over that it was not I who looked at the forest. Some days I felt that the trees were looking at me, were speaking to me…. I was there, listening…. I think that the painter must be penetrated by the universe and not want to penetrate it…. I expect to be inwardly submerged, buried… ”

“Eye and Mind” by Maurice Merleau Ponty

My recent works are intended to be microcosmic moments constituted by pop references, eternal currents, DIY style construction and play. Evolving out of the practice of painting, the things I make are sculptures, furniture and architectural elements simultaneously and, like props in a theatrical production, their presence stimulates actions, reactions and interactions between viewer, object and place. There is a fundamental strategy of jettisoning logic at work in my process by shifting scale, perspective and hierarchies of knowledge. Instead I create fantastical landscapes from debased craft materials. The resulting pieces move between two, three and four dimensions, becoming plateaus and tables, cliffs and chairs, light and lamps or video projections. By stretching painting out of it’s traditional rectangular frame and emphasizing the plastic, synthetic and fluid nature of the picture plane, my work repositions both subject and object allowing for the experience of penetration Merleau- Ponty cites in the quote above.

Another aspect my work explores is the notion of beauty, and, specifically, beauty as a signifier of class. My work elevates garish and childlike colors and materials such as glitter, florescent paint and plastic flowers, offering an alternative kind of beauty to the minimalist aesthetic and subdued color palette so often represented as high culture. My work emphasizes ornamentation rather than structure, focusing on heavily textured rather than refined surfaces. The process of painting, my painterly sensibility, cannot be contained by the rectangular canvas and spills out and over onto other forms. Messy and exuberant, my works celebrate the untamed and uncontrollable aspects of joy.

Edition for Aqua Miami

“hope is the thing with feathers” from John Paulett on Vimeo.

Sabina Ott, hope is the thing with feathers, DVD, 2011


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