Mills College
MFA Exhibition 2009

Andrew Witrak
  Joseph Berryhill
Annie Vought   Kate Pszotka
Brian Caraway   Leigh Merrill
Gina Tuzzi   Modesto Covarrubias
Esther Traugot   Steuart Pittman

Curated by Terri Cohn

Mills College Art Museum
May 3 - 31, 2009

Opening reception:
Saturday, May 2, 2009, 7 to 9pm.

Directions: 510.430.3250
Museum Information: 510.430.2164
Museum Hours: Tues-Sun 11-4pm, Wed 11-7:30pm

Catalogue available, featuring essays by Terri Cohn and Glen Helfand

Andrew Witrak / Artist Statement

The intention of my recent work is essentially to exaggerate the ridiculousness of avoiding reality. By presenting sculpture and imagery that offer false getaways and unreliable forms of protection, I am trying to highlight the tragic yet comic floundering for serenity, ultimately giving me perspective on my own anxiety and uncertainty.

Making commonplace objects into emergency items, and handicapping instruments of pleasure or precaution, I aim to magnify the bittersweet-ness of life and the sometimes-laughable state of insecurity. By rendering symbols of escape as defunct, or presenting life-saving devices and precious materials as burdens, I am exploring how my safety and comfort can never be guaranteed.

As vulnerable as we are in our unpredictable environments, what provides us with momentary security and a sense of calm? In the throes of stress, worry, and fear, do we need an escape or just the illusion of escape? Using varied media, I have attempted to amplify the absurdity and futility of striving for absolute reassurance and protection, by way of searching for some humor in the melancholy.