Vance Degen - Senior Art Exhibition - McDonogh School

Vance Degen

I wonder how might leather as a material attune us to trauma? 

I explored the theme of the abject body through the genre of horror by experimenting with the ideas and strategies of Surrealists. The painter Zdzislaw Beksinski was a direct influence on this series, as an artist who grappled with representation of the large political traumas in the wake of the Holocaust. Thinking about this period of crisis in representation,when many artists and thinkers asked themselves “how can we carry on and make meaning after this?” I connect that era and our own and see parallels with traumatic events that appear incapable of being represented directly. The materiality of leather as a hide is the crux of my own empathetic ideas in my artwork because for me, it holds tensions between notions of dead/living, protection/vulnerability, subject/object that are at heart my concerns. I hope to resonate the metaphoric and material properties of “skin” in order to invoke our unconscious and collective anxieties.

View Vance's Art

Untitled 1

Untitled 2

Untitled 3

Untitled 4