Traces of Decay

Posted on: December 4, 2019
Views: 909


"Traces of Decay" is an ongoing exploration of memories and experiences created within and related to the domestic space. Utilizing portraits of both individuals and houses, along with pattern, it highlights the weight and decay of the domestic space over time.

Other Projects by Jon Stahly

Jon Stahly

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MFA Student

Major: Printmaking

Graduation Year: 2021

Artist Statement:

Jon Stahly's work engages in what can be identified as a type of contemporary American Scene Painting. It questions what his identity looks like as well as how American identity can be communicated through individual disparate signs and signifiers. By investigating how images of everyday life reveal individual dispositions such as perceptions and positionality, he presents images that ask the viewer to question their specific interpretations and associations with each sign. Stahly views the works as an amalgamation of images that make up his specific American scene and are a product of the various regional, cultural, and societal environments that he exists within. His work creates a legible iconography out of signs and signifiers that blend the autobiographical with various facets of American life.

Surveying the American imagescape, Stahly investigates how identity is embedded within images. Through the utilization of semiotic techniques, he culls images from everyday life in order to create layered, fragmented, collage-like compositions that outline, recontextualize, and reflect the intersections of different cultural and societal norms. His work acknowledges the social, cultural, and economic conditions as they exist in America regarding industry, infrastructure, policy, and labor in relation to and in contrast with the alternative and more sentimental representations that embody the term Americana. Taking the shape of advertisements, figurative representations, street signs, and everyday objects, the works merge ideas of classic American signifiers with more true-to-life representations. Traditional images on the verge of stereotypes such as beer logos, American flags, and white picket fences juxtapose oil wells, laboring figures, and infrastructure in an attempt to present both types of imagery as coexisting and relevant parts of identity and American society and culture.