Two interviews reveal the creative processes of faculty member Amy Honchell and alumna Helen Maurene Cooper.
Two interviews reveal the creative processes of faculty member Amy Honchell and alumna Helen Maurene Cooper.
November 25

SAIC Artists Fill the Pixels of Popular Blog

On November 15, art blog Other People’s Pixels interviewed Amy Honchell, SAIC’s Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. Honchell addresses the relationships explored though her soft sculptures and installations: architecture and bodies, maker and consumer, surface and place, flexibility and stability. Detailing her “fabric landscapes,” site-specific structures made from layers of cloth, she states, “they are tenuous remnants in this fictional landscape, representing a trace of previous inhabitants, but the context is ambiguous, suggesting a different kind of vanitas theme, perhaps.” Other People’s Pixels also interviewed SAIC alumna Helen Maurene Cooper (MFA 2007) on November 1. Cooper describes her photography series Hoodwinked and Hard Candy, which she states, “Come out of the very strange racially/culturally segregated organism that is Chicago.” Addressing Hoodwinked, Cooper says, “I picked a visual starting place: Mannerist painting, which is seductive, formal and gestural as hell, much like the hip-hop videos, I chose to have my models wear accessories similar to women in the videos—acrylic nails, acrylic hair and plastic jewelry—all things that are put on the body that do not represent identity, but point to race and class within an American context.” In Hard Candy, Cooper employs macro photographs to capture close-up details of acrylic nail designs. “In my first year of teaching college, I began to notice the nuances in nail design on the hands of students and clerks at various stores,” she says. “I began asking questions about these shops and, with vague intersection coordinates, began to venture into various neighborhoods on the far west side.”