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Kayla Weinman: Clowning Around

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Artist Kayla Weinman creates representational objects that somehow have a twist whether they are intentionally smaller, larger, brighter, or have exaggerated features. In “Clowning Around,” Weinman designs pieces inspired by specific parts of a clown’s attire using coils, slabs, hyper-smoothing, carving, and stitchwork. Certain pieces are photographed on a model, which amplifies the juxtaposition of the large, stiff, visibly uncomfortable, and unfitting attire with the human body wearing it. At first look “Clowning Around” may seem humorous and nostalgic, but as a viewer examines the life-size clown attire and how it looks on a model, underlying themes of insecurity and anxiety surface. A clown may seem simple and direct, yet they find ways to satirize situations, entertain, and make light of the complexities of everyday life. In Weinman’s “Clowning Around,” there’s an element of levity but the pieces may surprisingly evoke a personal reflection of how individuals “mold” with society.

“The purpose of this series is for a person to dress up in these bright colorful ceramic objects to [involve the] audience and make the viewer feel comfortable with the person who is wearing the pieces. For me, this aspect of performance art represents the burden of a socially anxious person. Anxious individuals…may feel by ‘putting on a show’ or appearing cheerful they make social groups feel comfortable. This act reemphasizes how the person wearing these pieces is willing to make others comfortable at the expense of their own comfort. This feeling is something I have investigated in my work for many  years now.” – Kayla Weinman