Sarah Sitkin’s work enables you to try on one other skin – Beautifaire

Sarah Sitkin’s work enables you to try on one other skin – Beautifaire

From digital artists to photographers, body sculpturists and hair stylists to makeup and nail artists, in our Highlight series we profile the creatives tearing up the rule book of their respective industries.

“It’s a tragedy that our selves should be defined by our bodies, limited by our abilities, and that our bodies will ultimately kill us,” says LA-based artist Sarah Sitkin. Working with quite a lot of different materials including silicone clay, resin and latex, Sitkin’s sculptures offer visceral depictions of the human figure, often distorted into grotesque and nightmare-ish forms.

For her latest show Bodysuits, which opened at LA’s Superchief Gallery earlier this yr, Sitkin created hyper-realistic simulated-skin suits. Molded from the naked bodies of real people, who she found through an Instagram open-call, visitors were invited to try these wearable sculptures and parade around in one other person’s skin.

Tell us a bit about yourself and where you grew up? How has your background shaped who you might be as an individual?
Sarah Sitkin: 
Growing up in Burbank, CA (mainly ground zero for the entertainment industry), definitely influenced me by way of my issues with artifice and personas. My peers were all descendants of that industry. There was a commonality all of us shared that our parents were incredibly body conscious, and obsessive about creating the image of perfection. There was this plastic-wrap layer of bullshit that looked as if it would cover over every part. My parents having a retail business illuminated the hustle of branding and packaging, and I felt like I did not have the identical veil over my eyes as a number of my peers.

Do you remember the primary time you were conscious of your appearance?
Sarah Sitkin: I remember more being conscious of my mom’s body before my very own. I remember my mom going to battle along with her weight using fad pills, weight loss program clubs, exercise machines. She only had a pair family pictures where you could possibly see her full body. One was her wedding photo and one picture is burned into my mind perpetually, where she is wearing a blue color block one-piece in Hawaii on vacation, her impossibly trim figure lounging in a shallow hotel pool. She kept this picture on the wall for years, actually it’s probably still up in her house now. The explanation she was so thin within the pic was because she was taking a weight loss program pill that ultimately destroyed her health and left her with a heart murmur. I remember my dad pointing to it on a few occasions to make an observation about how beautiful she looked in that photo.

Growing up, what informed your understanding of beauty and identity and the best way you presented yourself visually?
Sarah Sitkin: I used to be very anti-celebrity and anti-brand. I used to be definitely all about attempting to be as original as possible, as an act of dissent. Logomania was the trend era that dominated my childhood. I remember being so aware of the artifice and disingenuine facade that celebrities, magazines, advertisements, and mainstream popular culture was attempting to peddle. My friends were collaging their entire bedrooms with pics of Calvin Klein ads and Hanson posters, while I used to be weaving computer cables into my bed frame, glueing rocks and and shells to every part, and painting abstract murals on my partitions.

What made you must be an artist?
Sarah Sitkin: 
I just at all times have been an artist. My earliest memories are of being creative. There’s a chunk of paper my mom has from second grade, by which I declared my ultimate aspiration was to be “the most effective artist on this planet”. My parents fed the dream with a gradual stream of damaged merchandise from their arts and crafts shop, Kit Kraft. I grew up pinching crusty clay into weird shapes, taking crude molds of my body in my bedroom, and smearing craft paint over every item I could get away with. Once I was a young person I began working at Kit Kraft and stayed energetic inside the business until I used to be about 25, which was when I made a decision to make art my full time bag.

Where did you hone your craft?
Sarah Sitkin: I dropped out of highschool in my sophomore yr, and I continued my education alone terms. Gaining access to the web was every part. Having constant access to study anything, the flexibility to accumulate any material from any corner of the earth and delivered to your door, to speak with so many individuals internationally and share ideas. I still research and learn something recent every single day on the web, I also love giving back and contributing to the identical network that made me by giving tutorials and answering questions for other artists and craftspeople.

Tell us about your creative process.
Sarah Sitkin: I visualise an idea in my mind, and I examine it from a number of different angles: emotionally, visually, and conceptually speaking. I keep editing it in my mind until it feels definitely worth the great undertaking to create it. Then I make sketches, which change into prototypes, and once I finally have the entire and solid concept, and the tools and process to execute it. I dive into it and make it occur with a fierce unshakable focus. I’ll work for weeks or months straight, no days off until it’s done.

Is beauty something you are trying to capture in your work or something that you simply reject?
Sarah Sitkin: 
I’ll be honest, I actually don’t ‘get’ the obsession with beauty. I’m not moved by beauty, motivated by beauty or drawn to it. In fact all of us use the word in our own ways to explain things which are pleasurable, however the consensus of what’s beauty is desperate and absurd. I’m embarrassed when I even have to make use of conventional beauty as a part of my presentation or artwork.

How do you perceive the connection between the physical body and individual identity?
Sarah Sitkin: I take into consideration this on a regular basis – the divide between my body and my Self. I feel the self exists outside the context of my body, and that I’m still myself even when my body changes beyond recognition.

You utilize probably the most universally recognisable parts of the body, things that we’re very aware of and mostly all share. So why is it that folks are unsettled by your work?
Sarah Sitkin: 
Right, I do know! Except for obvious taboos about nudity, the body is the source of a lot painful insecurity. People look into the mirror and instinctually contort their faces and bodies; raise the eyebrows, pout the lips, tilt the top, arch the back, tighten the abdomen, etc. Everyone has a ‘mirror self’ that they involuntarily express. We’re inundated with selfies from everyone in our lives – pics of everyone from their best angle, best light, living their best life. Seeing a body presented in a natural state without regard for beauty can really trigger an insecure person. It poses questions that some people don’t wish to be asked.

You’ve mentioned being embarrassed by having to censor genitals and nipples to be able to share your work on social media. Why do you think that persons are so shocked by the naked body?
Sarah Sitkin: It saddens me how we’re forced to keep up the sexualisation of bodies though social customs like censorship and fashion. To be real, I totally don’t understand loads about people normally, life appears like a rave where everyone seems to be tripping on their very own version of reality.

Do you intentionally attempt to be provocative along with your art?
Sarah Sitkin: To say I’m not aware that my work is provocative could be outright bullshit. If an experience doesn’t interrupt the norm, it has no impact, it facilitates no growth. I’m not intentionally and explicitly making exclusively provocative work- the things I’m exploring creatively are reflections of my dilemmas, my very own issues, my very own questions. And I’m really completely happy to know I’m not the just one combating these concepts, that I’m not alone within the darkness.

What’s probably the most significant thing you’ve learnt over the course of your profession? Would you have got done anything in a different way?
Sarah Sitkin: I’m still learning, growing, and changing. I’m sure the aim of this query is to assist encourage another person to make higher selections – but truthfully I learned every part from allowing myself to fail, making bad decisions, and dealing under shitty circumstances. I wouldn’t change anything, mistakes are where you learn learn how to do it right.

What’s the longer term of beauty?
Sarah Sitkin: Probably everyone living as idealised rendered digital avatars in a digital universe and no person leaves the home because every part is delivery only.

Who would you wish to shine a highlight on next?
Sarah Sitkin: Jim Swill is a video artist in LA who’s making some really great spoken word pieces narrated over video clips. Joe Holiday is only a living and respiration conceptual piece of art that never ceases to make me rethink every part. Brad Troemel helps keep my sanity with a much needed dose of art world humor. Andy the Doorbum is an incredible performing artist and can make you weep openly in a room stuffed with strangers.

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