My work is about childhood memories: those that drive us to recreate the past in the name of nostalgia, and those that stew and send us to therapy.
My work contains:
middle school troubles,
love and nourishment,
passive aggression around the dinner table,
the immeasurable value of shiny, plastic “stuff,”
the self-reproach of childhood anxieties,
dress-up and the malleability of identity,
and that one thing my mother said to me in passing.
The work lives anecdotally, often in company with a short story or shared memory. The stories too vary in tone, existing as hyperbolic, childlike tales, or a detached, clinical understatement.
Instead of canvas, I use curtains, tablecloths, and blankets. These domestic fabrics are used to cover, protect, comfort, or hide, and over time fade into living environments becoming nearly invisible. I’m interested in how we decide whether to share memories or keep them secret. There are memories we hide even from ourselves. I see my paintings as symbols for these well worn tools we use to cope, protect, hide, or communicate. They represent the negotiations we have with our past, and how much of ourselves is accessible to our own mind and those around us.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Carly Newman is a queer, disabled artist and curator based in Chicago who works in conceptual painting, fiber arts, and interactive performance. Her disabilities motivate her work in collaboration, transformation, and experimental story telling. She is a graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (BFA,‘20), and holds a BA from Beloit College (‘15). Her work has shown at the Hyde Park Art Center, Sullivan Galleries, Comfort Station, and the Wright Museum of Art. Newman is the creator of The Curators’ Search Engine, and is currently building an international gallery collective, Tertiary Market.
© Carly Newman