Student Work

  • Fine Arts (BFA)

    Athena Rigas

    Wendell's World

    I am a first-generation American. My family immigrated to the Bronx from Greece. Greek was the only language we spoke at home. Lack of funding from both my family and my public schooling forced me to become resourceful and use found and stolen materials to make my own crappy versions of things. This deficiency has led me to develop empathy towards objects. In my family's cramped apartment, we never let anything go to waste, keeping endless amounts of garbage that could someday come in handy, a habit of many lower-income and eastern European immigrant households. I collect a variety of found surfaces to paint on, including wood scraps, and pieces of furniture from dumpsters and curbs on trash collection days. Enchanted with the idea of objectification, I work with creating a sex doll as a way to explore the boundaries between human and object. Wendell's World is a mixed-media installation composed of modular paintings, drawings and collages set in my studio space. Through the use of found objects, I constructed a pseudo-domestic interior with chairs, tables, shelves, tiles, and rugs. With the larger paintings, I use found furniture to blur the space that is flat in the artwork and space that is real. Portraits of people have been placed onto chairs. I have seated the portraits at tables together, playing with the idea of objectification and bringing life to inanimate objects.