Ann Wood

Region: West

 In my large-scale paintings, sculptures, and installations I explore ideas of decadence, the grotesque, attraction/repulsion, and different aspects of nature. I use kitschy craft-store items like sequins, pom-poms, fake flowers, puffy paint, and scrapbook paper cutouts to make pieces that reference male-dominated art history (mostly the Baroque and Rococo periods) in a feminine way. In the past I have thought a lot about death as an abstract idea, as in “huh, someday, I will die and decay and that’s that.” Running with this vague fascination (fear?), I have tended to make works related to death, decay, and endpoints in a somewhat disconnected way. Then, in the summer of 2016, my parents died within six weeks of each other. I sat with both of them as they passed. It was not peaceful like I expected from watching movies and reading books—it was messy and heart-wrenching and very, very concrete. This experience has continued to shape what I have been making recently and forced me to confront death in a more personal way.