Student Work

  • Fine Arts (MFA)

    Alex Sheriff

    Droopy History

    Through painting, video, and sculpture, I am creating new worlds. These proposed worlds renegotiate our position as humans in respect to all other matter of our planet and Universe. Living in the realms of both pseudoscience and mythology, these new worlds draw from our own natural world and materialize as thick jungles, ocean bottoms, deep space, and other settings unexplored by humans. Here, there exists potential for new ways of being. One goal of my work is to dismantle the religious, ecological, and evolutionary hierarchies humans have created for the natural world. My work often depicts animals, plants, people, geology, and blends these categories in strange narratives. 

    In these worlds all matter is equal, and this is often expressed through abstraction. The inhabitants and their surroundings, as malleable as wet paint, cannot be precisely described by science, though we feel an urge to categorize and name them. There is an illustrative, personal, and playful hand in the work, present in painting, drawing, writing, animation, and three-dimensional forms. To presume to be able to truly see from the perspective of another species or other matter is a naïve notion, shakily expressed by a charming and obviously human hand. A bold, bright palette invites whimsy and speaks to moral-teaching Saturday morning cartoons and elementary school textbooks. The imaginative and mythological nature of the work fills the gaps in the science. By covering the facts of our physical world and our present time in some mystery and fantasy, I encourage viewers to grasp them in a new way.