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“I speak for those of you who don’t yet know the words, who’ve lost your tongues, who have not found your voice, who are afraid to tell your stories; fearful they may be too telling.” Joanna Freuh, Mouthpiece
As humans, we live in a state of dynamic, conflicting emotions. In moments of pain we experience joy and in moments of joy we have sorrow. I celebrate the contradictions and dynamism of the joy and sadness of life. Just like the word “lovely,” which we may use to describe everything from a wedding ceremony to a funeral service, life is an indefinable experience. It fluctuates, never remaining in one moment or emotion for long. This dynamism creates the complexity of life, the beauty of life, and the path of life. As Joanna Freuh says, “life is sloppy” and, as an artist, I celebrate, question, and reveal beauty in the sloppiness of our lives.
My major bodies of work have explored: the daily intimacy of lovers, the place of the bed, a powerful locale in our daily life, the space that can grow between long time lovers, the repetition of parenthood & the psychological landscape of the domestic space. We experience our most intimate moments of vulnerability, love, passion, sadness, and weakness within our domestic relationships and this is where my work is built and inspired. My image-based work explores the physical space and experience of these relationships while my text-based works explore the complicated emotions that reside within intimacy and identity. My graphite drawings allow me to zoom in on the importance of the small, possibly insignificant objects of domesticity and focus on their texture, tones and detail, abstracting their meaning and role while simultaneously elevating them. My photographs act as documents and proof of these lives and relationships.
My studio practices involve labor-intensive techniques that force me to work slowly, meticulously, and daily on my work. The finished work becomes a map of my daily life through the slow stitching or drawing of images and words. Though the autobiographical drives the work and is necessary for it to exist, ultimately it is transcended, enabling the viewers to have their own independent relationship to the work.
I do not live under extraordinary circumstances. I am an artist/human who has both flaws and fears and also strengths and hopes. Through the depiction of these characteristics, I invite the viewer to relate to and connect with my work, the artist, and the subject of human experience.
“I had to make the quilt to keep my family warm. I made it beautiful to keep my heart from breaking.” Miriam Shapiro
© 2008, Joetta Maue. All rights reserved. joettamaue (at) gmail <dot> com