Fellow: Awarded 2007
Field of Study: Fine Arts
Competition: US & Canada
An investigation of--and participation in--mass consumption drives my work. This takes shape in a series of watercolor drawings and large-scale photo-collages based on kaleidoscopic juxtapositions of fragments from muscle magazines and my own photographs of hamburgers, beef, crocheted blankets, butterflies, flowers, heaps of tires, cars, mushrooms, and other vivid imagery. The material I work with can be broadly divided into two spheres: artifacts of cultural production and elements of the natural world. I am interested in the flow between these categories.
Each watercolor begins with a collage made up of image fragments from a growing lexicon of photographic sources. I then make a watercolor of the collage, which is the final iteration of the piece. Translating the collages into watercolor both unifies the image and heightens the interplay of forms.
For me the unlikely pairings, even the rendering of this particular imagery in watercolor, is funny--but it's the kind of funny that is also uncomfortable. Teased together in the collages/watercolors, these combinations formulate a dizzying, cobbled-together, supersized world--cheery and creepy, attractive and repulsive.
Barbara Weissberger received an M.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1989. Currently she is a Lecturer in the Department of Studio Arts of the University of Pittsburgh. From 1997 to 2004 she taught at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. She has been a Fellow of the MacDowell Colony (twice) and of the Montana Artists' Refuge (six times) as well as Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Fellow at Yaddo in 2000 and at the Virginia Center for the Arts in 2000. She returned to the Virginia Center for the Arts twice more, in 2005 and 2006, as the Vera I. Heinz Foundation Fellow.