Sarah Odens, MFA, BFA
Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Exhibitions and Lectures of Art and Art History
My paintings transform images of domestic perfection into abstracted musings on the joy and the futility of chasing that very perfection. As I paint, images of this tension between idealism and reality merge and melt into drips and dots of paint like confetti and snow.
Humor, purpose, and pathos—by chance, accident, and some intent—inform droplets and smears of paint. Within my paintings, layers of marks form a palimpsest of artistic decisions. These marks, outside of my paintings, could appear untidy: flour spilled across the kitchen table, hot glue oozing from a clumsily executed project. An autumnal palette accentuates the fleeting nature of flawlessness, and alludes to the potentially kitschy charm of seasonal décor. Bright pinks and yellows add levity to my exploration of trial and error, while dark shadows taunt aspirations of the ideal.
Fragments from poems and online domestic sources filter into my work. Calligraphic letterforms shimmer on painted surfaces like wallpaper patterns. They conjure a diaristic space that alludes to the choices and expectations attendant on women in the shadow of competitive online domesticity-mania. My uneasy fascination with online domesticity—often false, rigid, staged, or idealized—permeates my paintings and speaks to the rough, undone edges of crumbling cakes and the dissolving fragments of floral arrangements.