Angela Piehl

I am drawn to image interactions that access the darker undertones of bourgeois lifestyle and behavior, and attempt to create connections between accumulation and alienation from nature.

I start by collecting and arranging; mining through found objects, wallpaper and fabric patterns, and media sources such as lifestyle/design magazines. I consider these interactions from a gender-queer perspective. The design imagery I am quoting possesses an inherent codification for femininity. I enjoy the levels of subversion introduced by depicting suggestive and decadent forms, elaborately ornate visual elements and an absurd opulence.

I often think about the carefully constructed environments that humans function within. These curated spaces are steadily eclipsing the natural world, and mediated experience has for many humans, replaced direct contact with Nature. Images I collect also contain highly synthetic representations of Nature and natural beauty, and this artifice and irony becomes layered into my content. Intermingling of the natural and synthetic creates a sort of biomorphic abstraction, with inherent narrative qualities. The resulting creatures are grotesque, bouquet-like, and somewhat lurid: monstrous, yet delicately fragile and lovely. Living, yet ambiguously dormant. They appear luxuriously decorative and organically corporeal, imbibed with the power to both attract and repel.

I am interested in this conflict, and in the potential of these accumulations to host projections of human emotion and desire. The process for producing this work allows me to investigate multiple layers of meaning: potential or promise, as well as quiescence, mortality, and isolation among them.