lisa solomon dot com

:: about the work

In many ways, my art is an experiment. My studio and the world I interact with is my laboratory. Like any good scientist I post questions and conduct research. My questioning is multi-linear. It is rooted in my attempts to understand myself, my personal history, as well as an interest in uncovering the profound in the immediacy of the everyday that surrounds us all.

As a half Japanese, half Jewish [Eastern European] Caucasian woman, hybridization is literally a part of my DNA, and shows itself often in my practice. Influenced by my paternal grandmother [who was continually making things with her hands], I often choose to incorporate crochet, embroidery, felt, pins, etc. in my work. The history and connotations of these materials intrinsically add to the work. My work is in dialogue with contemporary art and the history of painting, but by using thread and craft materials I’m simultaneously in conversation with an aesthetic artistic sphere that is inherently more interior and domestic. It’s an interesting divide and space – the one within, outside, next to and near ART + CRAFT.

I am interested in the concept of distance – transitory or spatial, microscopic or global. I am concerned with my personal history and the distances [both literal and figurative] we travel to creative the fabric of our lives. How both people and things [radiation, cultural practices, information] travel the globe and intersect with one another.

I am interested in materiality. I often leave long threads hanging beyond the frame of the drawing they are a part of. I also connect hand made doilies to their thread balls – attempting perhaps to create an illusion of self-making. These threads are often a tribute to the process, but they also invoke ideas of memory, the passage of time, and even grief. I use thread to literally make connections, to signify relationships, to mark time and/or distance, to highlight desires and longings. Since they don’t lay the same way twice, they become an element of chance. They imply that there is always a possibility of transformation. They pull the drawings off the wall and force flatness into space.  And they are ultimately something I CAN NOT control.

I am interested in repetition – the multiple – what happens when things are massed/swarmed beyond what might be comfortable. There is meditation in this, but also a complexity, a questioning of wholeness [can it ever be whole?]. Things en mass can become something other – both positive [as in a crowd all enjoying the same music at a concert] and negative [as in cells mutating and metastasizing into cancer].

I am interested in the act of labor itself; the domestic sphere and how in many ways it parallels the artistic sphere.  Tied to this is an exploration of the differences between hand-made and machine-made objects: how culturally the desirability of each has swapped positions over time. How things made in a time-consuming manner connote ideas about work ethic.

Reflexively I often try to fix or make beautiful those things/events that most frighten me [viruses, environmental toxins, deforestation]. In my studio I can render harmless that which can cause pain or destruction and things that are out of my control.

I venture to bring attention and meaning to that which we might ignore. To point out that something we might deem insignificant or unnecessary can indeed harbor a story or offer a clue to who we are, how we live and how we interact with one another.

In the end what I make is fundamentally tied to the practice of drawing and the scientific method. I take a “by any means necessary” approach – incorporating concepts, materials and practices in any combination to satisfy the work. The work has seemingly found a home between 2D and 3D, usually shown on the wall and yet concurrently existing and yearning to be off of it. In this tenuous position my work, is in many senses of the phrase, “between states”.