DANA TYRRELL

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Contact:        www.danatyrrell.com               danatyrr@buffalo.edu

When making art, my principal motivation is to create with the intent of experimenting with material and process. My work engages a broad range of topics, chief among them issues such as mortality, ecology, memory, psychoanalysis and material culture. When delving into these themes, I am also concerned with, and fold in, points of my own biography. Ultimately, the artwork is articulated through a queer lens of understanding, oscillating between literal and coded symbols.

Bridging between disciplines, such as drawing, painting, sculpture and installation, allows me to extrapolate on a narrative, which is fragmented, shifting, and always changing under the layered weight of memory. With an eye toward painting in particular, each series becomes not only a means through which I can work through aforementioned themes and biographic strata but an opportunity to traverse new material means by which concepts and conceits are articulated.  Recently, my work has been grappling with bodily refuse, specifically in the form of chewing gum, saliva, and other bodily detritus, as a way of not only engaging and seducing the viewer but also as a mechanism through which I confront my own abjection.

My most recent series of paintings, Folie a Deux (2014), deals with the physical presence and absence of the human body. As such, a floating dichotomy exists within the series: between tones of pink and grey, between fleshy, overwrought surfaces and spare still lifes and between the intimacy of contact and its aftermath. For example, the last and largest painitngs in the series seek to not only mimic the human form through an amalgam of flesh tones but also through its scale. The paintings are four feet tall and two feet wide, and when hung, approximate the dimensions of a human viewer. This size of each painting initiates the viewer into the piece; operating on a 1:1 scale. Yet, it also implicates the viewer in its naked intimacy and coded verbal/visual dance.

Moving forward, I seek to push my practice beyond the two dimensional and explore an elongated relationship between painting and sculpture. My principal aim is still to work with aspects of abjection and the push-pull dichotomy therein but to also explore ideas of mortality. I Want to evoke a condition of ephemerality when grappling with what it means when the human body becomes a remnant and a site of material contestation between existing and dissolving. I feel as though this feeds into an overarching queer narrative, which I have been building since my last mixed media painting series through a queer-driven anxiety of death. This can be seen as fueled by living as the first post-AIDS epidemic generation but still existing under the Damocles sword-like specter of disease.

"Aura"

“Aura”

"I, AK"

“I, AK”

"New Vampires"

“New Vampires”

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