Katya Tepper

Region: South

My work is informed by the lived experience of chronic illness. The forms and processes in my sculptures reimagine the grotesque body as a site of joy and whimsy. They formally delight in the messiness of sickness, and explore digestion as a metaphor for how the body translates its environment.

Initially, my large-scale, clunky wall sculptures resemble the oversized road signs that loom over the American landscape. Like the architectural signs of strip malls and billboards, my sculptures claim and mark space as frontal designs, with bold colors and graphic shapes related to painting. On closer inspection, they reveal a dizzying and layered sculptural language defined by holes. The materials interweave exposing an infrastructure of entangled networks, processes, and objects. Toilet plungers penetrate industrial felt shapes, eggshells protrude from poured latex pools, plastic thread spools plug surfaces of caulk and cloth, while wax clogs the pores of old, dirty bricks. As if there were something violent and insistent about their being, they refuse to differentiate between internal and external.