Rausch, Selisa Claire
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The chair first appeared as subject matter in my earlier works, where it came to represent the absence of another individual. Looking back, it marked a point in my life when I needed to reevaluate my sense of self and accept being alone. My thesis works in culmination of that search for personal (as well as aesthetic) identity. The chair now serves as my partner in silent conversation. Acting as a stand-in for a human figure, it personifies the visual dialogue between artist, and subject. The chair is removed from its original environment and drawn in a studio situation. With its back to the wall and raised up on boxes, I humbly address it face to face. In the process of drawing, when I transfer all my attention to a form that seems to be looking back at me, I end up searching not for the character of the chair, but for the uniqueness of myself. This physical condition is also a kind of therapeutic situation. Having the actual chair in front of me, my hand automatically responds to what I see. My conscious mind is then free to explore the problems and questions I have in my life and my work. It offers me the chance to assess my predicament and work toward change and personal growth. Ultimately, my drawings are more a personal meditation than an outward expression of ideas. The neutrality of my subject matter enables me to concentrate more on the manipulation of pictorial elements. I initially choose a chair by how well it lends itself to drawing. Sometimes the dirty yellow color or slick pink vinyl the chair is made from, the pattern on the sofa or the compositional structure of the form itself will suggest different ways of manipulating the drawing surface. Because the chairs are more a vehicle for a creative process, I am not interested in giving them a specific environment or story line. Rather, they exist in the drawing in timeless space. The chairs are not cropped, but drawn life-size, or on a human scale, which to me gives them a sense of physicality or presence of. form. Most of the drawings are monochromatic where figure and ground are united by an overall surface pattern, color, or texture. Repetition within the form as well as the repetition of marks add to the visual harmony. Repetition is also evidence of the amount of time spent in visual dialogue with the object.