Artist and Associate Professor in the
Department of Fine Arts at Maharishi International University
For as long as i can remember clothing and shoes have been a place of deep bonding with the women in my life, and a source of inspiration for my work—
My best friends
Handmade dresses for all of the dances
I have memorized all of the closets
I have memories of all of the outfits
Not just mine, but theirs too.
Narrative that can be abstract. Color that takes over your body. Brings joy, but also makes you uncomfortable. I am interested in that discomfort. In the unknown.
My Grandmother’s Closet was filled with shoes.
Piles of shoes. No shoe racks, just piles of shoes.
Dresses to match—for every occasion.
Sandals with bright pink and gold.
Parrots. Umbrellas. Fourth of July.
Nails to match.
Red when it wasn’t a Holiday.
4th of July
Color is a huge part of the way I see the world and what I am most interested in when constructing my paintings. The interaction of color, how space can be flat and have depth all at once. How two colors can fight with each other while remaining friends. That perfectly off color combination that feels so satisfying. Materialiality. Reflectivity. Symbols that can mean something and nothing all at once. Narrative that can be abstract. Color that takes over your body. Brings joy, but also makes you uncomfortable. I am interested in that discomfort. In the unknown. This relates to my experience in the studio when I am making the work. Being surprised by my own moves. Paying attention to the things that are happening in the work, and around the work.
It is often the thing that I don’t think is the work that informs the work.
I have always been obsessed with clothes. I wear the same thing everyday, but I dream about other outfits all day long. I am often stuck at home and late for engagements because I am dreaming about outfits or things I wish I could have.
When I was a kid and a teenager I used to spend hours looking at catalogues and marking the items that I wished I could have. Making lists. Doing the math.
The minute I actually have something I am no longer interested in that thing. Getting the thing I was dreaming about does not satisfy the desire.
Mostly just painting can satisfy the desire.
I flood myself with images from life, the internet, store windows, clothing racks, friends closets, my grandmother’s outfits…..stories of my mom and her sister’s wardrobes. THE IDEA OF WHAT SOMEONE MIGHT HAVE WORN TO AN IMPORTANT EVENT.
I use those memories to find the images in my paintings. It is almost never a one to one thing. It is in the memory that the thing becomes mine, that the dream becomes real.
Paint and material is the only place where things become as glamorous as I imagined them to be in my head.
A huge closet filled with brightly colored dresses. Walking into your closet and choosing what to wear.
Gyan Shrosbree received her B.F.A. from the Kansas City Art Institute, and her M.F.A. from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Gyan is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Fine Arts at Maharishi International University. She lives and works in Fairfield, Iowa.
Current show: www.nxixgallery.com
View on Instagram: @nxixgallery
Editions available: https://nxixgallery.com/shop/?v=ae551853b692