Aimee Valentine

MFA, Painting

Artist Statement

As a narrative artist I explore the limits of object/subject relationships through image-making—working across painting, photography, printmaking, and comics. In written and spoken languages, a subject is a person, place, or thing that performs action, while an object is a person, place, or thing that receives action. Objecthood and subjecthood are not fixed states, but flexible, and conditional. We engage with perceptions of object/subject daily, according to our own socio-political biases.

I investigate these biases by portraying typical objects as subjects, while typical subjects become objects. I am interested in the ways we interact with our surroundings, and how we consciously and unconsciously objectify others and ourselves (when we identify as recipients of action rather than actors on the world stage). Role reversals in my work serve to highlight otherness/othering, representation, and objectification.

My recent painting series, Going Dutch pays homage to the Dutch Golden Age and its contributions to art and scientific discovery while challenging its legacy of colonialism, material acquisition, and traditional gender roles. The works in this series question whether gender parity can ever exist, given the pervasive role of women as objects of desire or means of reproduction. Motifs in the paintings function as signs that challenge an inherited culture of domination, domestication, and accumulation. Despite the critique, stylistic nods to renowned Dutch artists add to a playful and surreal space in which skewed perspectives, collage, and saturated color amplify the tension between public and private spheres, modes of production and consumption, and the fine line between function and fetish.

Title Wall, “Going Dutch”

The One That Got Away, 2021
Acrylic on Panel, Reclaimed Wood, Spray Paint, and a Laser Engraved Title, 48″x24″

Alpha Beta Male, 2021
Acrylic on Panel, Reclaimed Wood, Spray Paint, Laser Engraved Title, and Rubber Fish, and Plastic Googley Eyes, 52″x30″

One Night at the Hollandaise Inn, 2021
Acrylic and Collage on Panel, Reclaimed Wood, Spray Paint, Laser Engraved Title, Cast Resin Pickles and Eggs, and Plastic Snakes 72″x40″

Old World, New Shoes, 2021
Found Dutch Clogs

Fresh From the Factory Floor, 2021
Acrylic and Collage on Panel, Reclaimed Wood, Spray Paint, Laser Engraved Title, Cast Resin Pickles and Eggs, 60″x48″

Past Time, 2021
Acrylic on Panel, Reclaimed Wood, Spray Paint, Laser Engraved Title, and Rubber Baseballs, 72″x60″

Masters of Science: The Specimen, 2021
Acrylic and Collage on Panel, Reclaimed Wood, Spray Paint, Laser Engraved Title, and Cast Resin Pickles and Eggs, 60″x48″

What You Bring to the Table, 2021
Still Life with Found Objects: Wood Table, Woven Straw Chairs, Wooden Goblets, Magnifying Glass, Bird’s Nest, Egg, and Plaster Hand, Variable Sizes.

Installation View

Aimee Valentine

MFA, Painting

Artist Statement

As a narrative artist I explore the limits of object/subject relationships through image-making—working across painting, photography, printmaking, and comics. In written and spoken languages, a subject is a person, place, or thing that performs action, while an object is a person, place, or thing that receives action. Objecthood and subjecthood are not fixed states, but flexible, and conditional. We engage with perceptions of object/subject daily, according to our own socio-political biases.

I investigate these biases by portraying typical objects as subjects, while typical subjects become objects. I am interested in the ways we interact with our surroundings, and how we consciously and unconsciously objectify others and ourselves (when we identify as recipients of action rather than actors on the world stage). Role reversals in my work serve to highlight otherness/othering, representation, and objectification.

My recent painting series, Going Dutch pays homage to the Dutch Golden Age and its contributions to art and scientific discovery while challenging its legacy of colonialism, material acquisition, and traditional gender roles. The works in this series question whether gender parity can ever exist, given the pervasive role of women as objects of desire or means of reproduction. Motifs in the paintings function as signs that challenge an inherited culture of domination, domestication, and accumulation. Despite the critique, stylistic nods to renowned Dutch artists add to a playful and surreal space in which skewed perspectives, collage, and saturated color amplify the tension between public and private spheres, modes of production and consumption, and the fine line between function and fetish.

Title Wall, “Going Dutch”

The One That Got Away, 2021
Acrylic on Panel, Reclaimed Wood, Spray Paint, and a Laser Engraved Title, 48″x24″

Alpha Beta Male, 2021
Acrylic on Panel, Reclaimed Wood, Spray Paint, Laser Engraved Title, and Rubber Fish, and Plastic Googley Eyes, 52″x30″

One Night at the Hollandaise Inn, 2021
Acrylic and Collage on Panel, Reclaimed Wood, Spray Paint, Laser Engraved Title, Cast Resin Pickles and Eggs, and Plastic Snakes 72″x40″

Old World, New Shoes, 2021
Found Dutch Clogs

Fresh From the Factory Floor, 2021
Acrylic and Collage on Panel, Reclaimed Wood, Spray Paint, Laser Engraved Title, Cast Resin Pickles and Eggs, 60″x48″

Past Time, 2021
Acrylic on Panel, Reclaimed Wood, Spray Paint, Laser Engraved Title, and Rubber Baseballs, 72″x60″

Masters of Science: The Specimen, 2021
Acrylic and Collage on Panel, Reclaimed Wood, Spray Paint, Laser Engraved Title, and Cast Resin Pickles and Eggs, 60″x48″

What You Bring to the Table, 2021
Still Life with Found Objects: Wood Table, Woven Straw Chairs, Wooden Goblets, Magnifying Glass, Bird’s Nest, Egg, and Plaster Hand, Variable Sizes.

Installation View

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