Artist of the Day / Kendra Bulgrin / Kewaunee, WI

I’ll let Kendra tell you about her work, but I find it very powerful.

“My work examines the longing for identity and the subsequent expectations associated with identity and memory. I question how identity is constructed through images, family, home, memory, and the miniature.”

“My interest in the image as a ground of identity and memory stems from the personal struggle to understand and cope with my identity and past as an adopted child. At times, I see myself as living two separate lives. This feeling of separation, disconnection, and the recent reunification of my pasts have played an important role in my work. Growing up, I had always imagined my biological family. I developed a set of overtly idealized images. I contrived expectations of who and what they could be and kept these ideals as stand-ins for them. Finding my biological family left the conundrum of the stand-in versus the real. I found myself the questioning the replacements and thus asking again Who am I? In my artworks, I turned to images and their relationships to “originals.” The burden of longing for something at an unattainable distance in both memory and reality has been an important struggle within my work.”

“I began working with the miniature farm set from my childhood and began taking photographs, often with dramatic and intense lighting. The translation of these photo-scenes to oil paint on panel unwound the knot of certain relationships that I wanted to address visually. I realized not only that identity was based on much more than biology but also that there was a different level of distance necessary to the penetration and manipulation of these issues than the microscopic. The set acts as a replacement not only for the childhood ideal memory but transcends that particular moment to stand for other instances. These methods of working with the miniature and photography allowed me to distance myself, yet at the same time create an idealized nearby place for my longing. ”

About destructivetesting

I'm a self-taught artist who prefers to use found objects in ways that were never intended. I'm not interested in making 10 or 100 of the same object. This, of course, takes more time to make each piece. I also prefer a more minimalist look, where each part of a piece can be appreciated. I consider my clocks to be small sculptures with moving parts. And, my lamps to be small sculptures with light. My mirrors are reflective sculptures. DESTRUCTIVE TESTING means to push something to it's limits to understand it's structural performance or material behavior under different stresses. I interpret this in my artwork as using materials in different ways or combinations than they were designed to be used. I also just like the slightly ominous sound of the term...
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3 Responses to Artist of the Day / Kendra Bulgrin / Kewaunee, WI

  1. barbaraelka says:

    She is a talented artist… I like her vision.

  2. ibraryunus says:

    yes I’ll have to agree with barbaraelka, she is indeed talented..though, her works do scare me a bit……But beautiful, they truly are.

  3. Thank you Michael for featuring me on your blog. You have featured some talented and interesting artists and I look forward to seeing more!

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