Artist Statement

     My insatiable need to collect and hoard has manifested into a practice of collage and assemblage. The accumulation of things, intrinsic to collage, has instigated a mindset for deconstruction and repurposing. It provides a practical means of maneuvering a global and contemporary terrain saturated with imagery.

     In specificity-- my work narrativizes the ways in which I would access my Brasilidade (Brazilian-ness) growing up in the Midwest. As a first generation Brazilian-American, Brazil came to me in the form of Português, music, food, images of flora and fauna, pop and consumer culture with rainbow packaging. Mindful of the Brazilian concept Anthropophagy, which aimed to establish a national character by consumption, my practice is curious about the ways identity can be constructed, and reclaimed in the flurry of material nostalgia and saudade.

     Ubiquitous throughout my practice are images of birds. Birds are prehistoric capsules of time, endemic to specific areas of the world. Birds are icons of nationality and the embodiment of the spiritual. With Bird collage, drawing and ceramic translation, I present a self-portrait and family tree. The bouquet of birds recalls the regional splendor of the American Midwest and Brazilian Pantanal; paternal and maternal places my heritage have intertwined. The culmination of the parts are manifested into a multi-perspective, metaphorical queer self.

contact: thejergarver@gmail.com

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