Amy Oates

avoates's picture
Neighborhood: Sunset
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My practice as a painter and printmaker has led to fluidity across media, borrowing approaches from one to inform a wider array of media. Whether painting, etching printing plates, assembling collages, or designing cut paper installations, I ride the line between recognition and abstraction. I simplify color palettes while complexifying layers and patterns. I rely on a construct-deconstruct-reconstruct process.

I am drawn to collective entities that represent complex interconnections, are larger than the sum of individual parts, and that embody generative and fragile life.

I explore crowds as representative of ephemeral moments where individuals converge to form something abstract, yet familiar. I am fascinated observing the way people interact and negotiate between personal and public space, and I construct crowds that embody this tension. Our cities are formed, altered, and sustained by rubbed shoulders, blocked views, converging paths, diverging destinations, what is given, and what is taken. Greater density of our urban spaces necessitates greater attention to our social interactions. Within my practice, I am asking myself questions about how we can learn to live within the crowd.

In a similar vein, my studies of animal collectives such as coral or butterflies also rely on processes of constructing, layering, creating patterns, and contrasting negative and positive space. As with crowds, I am considering ideas about collective identity, alteration, and sustainability.