Portion Pets  2012 MFA Thesis

 Emotions can have the power to override sound logical arguments, so much so that they are presented and perceived as proven logic. In these situations, recognizing the difference between logic and emotion can be extremely challenging.  I am interested in pointing out this difference by taking commonplace and familiar situations, and twisting an element of that situation into the unfamiliar and absurd.  This absurdity lends itself to a dark kind of humor, giving a way to begin reconciling this overturning of reality. Through this subtle shifting of reality and the use of humor, an entrance into the work is provided, giving an intriguing space to think and look longer on the work and the conflict it seeks to reveal. In this body of work I am trying to achieve this subtlety through the comfort of narrative, recognition of posture and form, and familiarity of scale and environment. The sculptures are ceramic chimeras, frozen in the recognizable and awkward behaviors of cats and dogs, set with objects that imply a comfortable home. In presenting absurd situations using these elements, I am seeking to acknowledge this contradiction between how the urban and suburban American pet owners (of which I am one) see the animals that live in their homes, and the way they see, or refuse to see, the animals they eat. Why are some considered worthy of love and family, while others are considered slabs of meat?  These decisions strike me as completely arbitrary and without logical reason. Even so, these classifications are passionately defended, to the point of fiercely denying facts and filling gaps in knowledge with emotional rhetoric. By subtly inserting these ceramic objects into scenarios, which speak to the comfort of the home, an ideal that many people hold as a sacred space, I hope to bypass such knee jerk reactions, thus encouraging recognition of our absurdities and contrary nature. Each scenario points to the same idea from several different paths. In each path, the ceramic piece holds the ideas while the surroundings give the comforts of relatable scale and objects.