Thursday, February 05, 2004
Kirsten Johnson
touchy-feely Artist Statement: "Now, with touchy-feely these crude makeshift toys have their own arena.

My work has always been portrait based - driven by a need to capture expression and emotion. Working with inanimate objects hasn't changed this, it's focused it. The emotions depicted / written are complex and specific, contrasting with the extreme simplicity of the subject. Needy. Gorgeously insincere. Morbidly curious. The use of chalk not only references a child's world but suggests impermanence. Always the same two socks are used - scrutiny through repetition. The viewer takes on a more active role as he / she relates to the emotion stated or decides that manipulation is taking place. How does footwear with buttons sewn on to it appear to be 'paranoid'? Is it 'paranoid' because we are told it is 'paranoid'? Why do we feel the need to transfer emotions?

With touchy-feely my goal was to create a body of work whose initial childlike simplicity, humour and obsession will lead the viewer onto its more challenging ideas of emotional perception and transference."

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