Caroline Kennedy Withdraws, from the series “Cover Girls,” 2009, Inkjet Print, 24 x 30 inches, courtesy of the artist.
Icons: Appropriated Jackie images from Warhol's appropriated images of Jackie.
Patti Ambrogi, Hillary Clinton Campaigns, from the series “Cover Girls,” 2009, Inkjet Print, 24 x 30 inches, courtesy of the artist.
Icons: Redrawn figures from jokes about women that ran in the New Yorker from the day Hillary announced her candidacy for the New York Senate seat to the day she was sworn in.
Patti Ambrogi, Sarah Palin Live from Saturday Night, from the series “Cover Girls,” 2008, Inkjet Print, 24 x 30 inches, courtesy of the artist.
Icons: The republican elephant icon, pit bulls, lipstick, and a map of Russia.
Click here to view two flash animations, Martha and Monica.
For the past few years, I have been working on a project that unmakes and reweaves the media images of iconic figures in the public sphere. Stills from the news media are captured and rematerialized. Each still is regenerated with electronically embroidered picture tiles, shifting the meanings of the original clips. The value of each pixel in each frame is measured and re-signified through a code of icons or images, re-inscribing the surface with buried meanings.
The canvases chart multiple layers of meanings that exist between the life of each popular figure and the various histories that she creates and is created by. My ambition is to realign our values of description with our sense of understanding. I propose a media that encodes values within its structure, a media that seemingly participates in the
hypnotic flicker of the airwaves, but whose icons of pit bulls, lipstick, maps of Russia, and redrawn cartoon figures of women offer another look at the way things are.
Remediation is the subject and the tool of discovery in this project, both demanding a deeper reading and mirroring the larger social processes in which we form our beliefs and values. My goal is to move beyond the question of artifice and manipulation to the larger role of dismantling and contesting and remaking our present social reality where the truth and a lie are interchangeable. I work to embed new and other readings of our social reality through the re-materialization of the popular images that float on the surface of our culture.
- Patti Ambrogi