Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Material Perceptions: Momentum OKC Artist Erin Raux

This post is part of our series on Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition's Momentum OKC 2014. Momentum exhibits Oklahoma artists ages 30 and younger in a venue created specifically for them, helping them gain experience and meet new audiences. Today we are featuring Momentum artist Erin Raux from Norman, OK.

Laura Reese: What is your concept and inspiration for this piece in Momentum?
Erin Raux: Savoy Truffle and many other works I create are continually affected by a fluid social environment and the ever-changing definitions of gender. The inconsistency of how a person is perceived and how a person desires to be perceived weighs heavily in my practice.  My work is an instinctive progression of gathering, sorting, and associating in order to evoke and define volume and space. Using a wide range of mainly domestic and mundane consumables, I explore their captivating qualities and sense of tactility in a manner that addresses humanity without utilizing the human form until recently. I have a desire to unite materials that are stereotypically labeled as feminine or masculine. I acquire materials from across social divisions to create new identity and re-define or invade predefined roles and preconceived notions. 
Erin Raux, Norman, “Savoy Truffle”, found metal ring,
kneehighs, casted plaster teeth, wax, 12 X 12, $300
In the work I create, objects are accumulated and given a new form and community. The original products achieve new meaning, but they also are the bridge between the viewer and the new ideas and questions I propose. They are physical proof of our lives, and therefore allow viewers to connect with the work by way of their existing, past, and fantasy relationships with ordinary things.  I seek to evoke a sense of wonder, humor, mischief and sexual innuendo through familiar, intrinsically understated objects. 
Teeth are strange unique things, especially when they are removed from their original context, the body.  Once removed from their origin I believe they address identity.  Without scientific research, one cannot decipher whether the teeth belonged to a male or female, etc.  In this way I feel the piece is masking identity or taking it away.

LR: Please explain the technique and/or process you used to create this work.
ER: I feel that a majority of my time spent in the studio is playing. I collect found objects and materials that are innately interesting to me. I spend my time addressing these objects and pairing them with others to create a dialogue. I found the metal ring, I love that rust! Through trial and error I then pulled a knee-high stocking over the ring. It’s amazing how far a knee-high can stretch.  The teeth are plaster casts. I shoved them into the same kind of knee-high I used for the ring and dipped them in wax just over the teeth and then placed them inside the knee-high encased ring. The title Savoy Truffle comes from the Beatles song… “But you have to have them all pulled out after the Savoy truffle…”

LR: Is this work part of a series?
ER: I suppose it is because I’ve been using the teeth in other works, but I haven’t really thought of it as belonging to a series.

LR: Where else can audiences see your work?
ER: I have an upcoming show at the De Mattias Fine Art Center’s Steckline Gallery at Newman University in Wichita, Kansas on March 28th from 5pm-8pm.  A selection of work can also be viewed @

Momentum OKC opens March 7 & 8 with live music, performance, and visual art by 101 young Oklahomans. The exhibition remains on display until March 10 at the Farmer's Public Market OKC, 311 S Klein. Learn more or buy tickets at

No comments: