Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Visual Art
I work in painting, installation, sculpture and photography. Inspired by personal events, my work transcends my individual experiences through the visual form. I create works that provide space for contemplation of the abstract visual qualities, while at the same time alluding to the actual events and cultural contexts that influenced my life. Since 2015, my work has revolved around militainment and military aesthetic. While my work doesn’t always appear to be in direct conversation with the military or the entertainment industry, their hidden agenda and symbolisms continue to influence my work.
I am drawn to both formal and conceptual aspects of art making. Often the work is developed as a combination of painted and sculptural form. Each piece is treated as a singular object that carries its own symbolism. Once a composition has been created, I try to think of multiple ways I can attack the same idea using the same composition but through altering parts slightly. These series aim for familiarity, as the viewer understands the repetitive compositions or formal choices as recurring symbols.
By referencing military aesthetic such as WWI era razzle-dazzle camouflage, as well as current military decorations and weaponry in combination with bright colors and simplistic geometric shapes I hope to evoke a conversation regarding the contemporary cultural construction of heroism. My work’s intention is not meant to criticize our service men and women but to question the way in which such definitions of glory are reflected in children’s war games and movies, and thus perpetuating current cultural conditioning.
Program Director's Department
Graduate School of Art
Williams, Riley, "Militainment" (2018). Graduate School of Art Theses. ETD 105. https://doi.org/10.7936/K7FX78XN.
Available for download on Sunday, September 24, 2045