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Amy Santoferraro

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As a kid I secretly collected “shoe poison”. I kept records of each pair of shoes that helped contribute to my coveted collection of gel silica. Diagrams, dates of purchase, sizes, colors, and materials were all meticulously catalogued in my Holly Hobby notebook. Only my Best Friends were invited to my top-secret laboratory/closet to view it and hear of my somewhat sinister plans to poison bad guys.

The collection remains my playground. Collections are spectacularly selfish satisfactions that are classless and limitless. Rich museum collectors in search of obscure works of art and unemployed QVC shoppers dialing in a hundredth crystal unicorn are essentially doing the same thing as me; strategically collecting objects to organize and make sense of our surroundings through interactions with the material world.  Through these interactions I hope to further understand the need and affection for objects and ideas that questionably perpetuate the commemoration of places, feelings, and people.

Objects become charged with meaning, history, sentiment, and the authority to tell stories as I rowdily rummage through thrift stores, dollar stores, hobby stores, and hardware stores seeking objects and materials, whose usefulness has been exhausted or underutilized and await a new imagined life. I carefully handpick and catalogue objects and materials that are familiar or boast a degree of promise and beauty to me. I put objects and stories together piece by piece, relentlessly tinkering with objects and ideas until they fit and work in a way that is very mine. After all, I am the boss of them.  Narratives, both personal and adopted third person, slip into and then take over the work. I am attracted and magically repulsed by the insertion and “standardized personalization” of remembrance and celebration feted in kitsch and souvenir vernacular. I beg these ideas and objects to buck-up; acknowledge and engage their own artificiality and hidden agenda of astute cute.

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