Eli Kauffman

Region: West

 The work portrays symbiotic relationships between figures, exploring what we give each other and what we owe each other. Figures mirror each other’s movements, creating reflections and repetition of familiar actions. Everyday experiences like fixing a neighbor’s sink or watching a friend get ready for a night out can be a revelation. These familiar actions convey a reflexive understanding between loved ones.

Many of the works explore sincerity in performance during social gatherings. The mythologized party is a way to navigate the complexity of American adolescence, while road trips and tarot readings serve as tools to reflect on that period of life. Most of the works are set at night, with lighting choices that reference coming-of-age television shows. Saturated color conveys melodrama and tension, revealing emotional urgency. Many of the figures return the gaze of the audience, as if they are waiting to have their photo taken. This creates the illusion that the audience could step into the work and be a part of the events depicted on the canvas.