Apartment Talk #14: Cara Erskine and Corey Escoto
On May 21st we hosted enlightening talks by Pittsburgh-based artists Cara Erskine and Corey Escoto, both of whom relocated here some years ago and have since been very active in the local (as well as national) art scene. They drew a big crowd of supporters who stuck it out despite stifling heat, and even dared prolonging the proceedings with some great questions.
Cara presented her sculptures, paintings, and collages that take formal and conceptual cues from sports, pop culture, and feminism. Highlighting some of her works that examine perceptions of gender and identity, Cara discussed the public reception of sports icons like Billie Jean King, a recurring figure in her work. Cara also described the important role that construction plays in the materiality of her work and her overall artistic process, from tiny collages to large-scale paintings. Cara earned her MFA from Yale School of Art in 2002 and has exhibited at The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA; Vox Populi, Philadelphia, PA; Front Room, Cleveland, OH; and has had solo exhibitions at Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, IN; and Stanford University, Stanford, CA. She has taught at Carnegie Mellon University and Robert Morris University, and her art criticism has appeared in Dis Magazine. See more of Cara’s work on her website.
Corey talked about his body of experimental, large format analog photographic works created with a recently discontinued Polaroid format. Expanding the zone of instantaneous image production, Corey constructs enigmatic spaces that compress and invert idea, image, and object. These 4×5 instant film prints are unique, multi-exposure proofs created through a process of hand-cutting and registering a series of light-blocking stencils to selectively and sequentially expose the film. As an extension of this process, his sculptures are reverse engineered objects born out of the Polaroids—reifying the cycles, grey areas, and nuances of invention and production. Corey was born in Amarillo, Texas, and his work has been included in many national and international exhibitions at venues such as the Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis; FRAC Nord-Pas De Calais, Dunkerque; Galerie de Kunstler, Munich; 7 Days Brunch, Basel; and Regina Rex, Queens, NY. See more of Corey’s work on his website. See also Art21’s blog, featuring a 2009 interview with Corey.