Michelle Graves, director of Agitator Gallery in Chicago, sources her style through a seemingly obsessive and careful discussion with line and text; breaking, dissecting and constantly interrogating her subjects and materials. – Darius Airo
ARTIST STATEMENT July, 2018
I thoroughly enjoy interweaving scientific research like physics and physiology with existential, stream-of-conscious thoughts. Some of my art work is heavily text-based and some is representative of the process, but all of my work is derived from my obsession to figure out why things happen. When I dwell on a subject like anxiety, breathing, communication or a failed relationship, I compare these qualities to similar scientific phenomena. For example, the coefficient of restitution is the transfer of energy when two particles collide – in an elastic collision, no energy is lost. I think of those colliding particles like the intensity of human beings meeting and forming a relationship, or NOT.
In organizing my research I construct formulas or techniques with which I apply material parameters for making bodies of artwork. The analyzation of the research is where I find my process. Some of these formulas include but are not limited to stream-of-conscious writing, graphical or gestural text paintings and drawings, abstract equations, short videos, zines, mixed media sculptural pieces and installations. The bodies of work range from densely layered to lighthearted, playful concepts.
I also have a persona within the street art scene that is an 8-bit digital heart stenciled with red and blue paint representing the anatomical heart in a technology obsessed world.
I currently reside in Chicago, Illinois where I received an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts and Media from Columbia College Chicago in 2012. I received a BFA in Photography from Indiana University in 2003.