Janelle O’Malley is an interdisciplinary artist working primarily in sculpture, painting and fiber. She is located in Northern Illinois and works in museum education.
The physical nature of paint as a material is explored in my work by employing the use of sarcasm and sexuality. The idea of shared memories and nostalgia has played an integral part of this exploration. The imagery in my work is pulled from the iconic parts of my childhood: Lisa Frank school supplies, the scent of lip smackers lip gloss, textures of club wear, and sticker books. Each part feeds into the playfulness of the forms while exploring the feelings activated by them. My current pieces explore the height of consumer culture and how it defines adolescence. Pulling from shared dialogues I continue to explore the idea of shared memory and how even a difference in age does not change the familiarity of shape and color. In referencing popular products and icons of different time periods I can view the differing perceptions of a shared time period. Using recognizable images and historical context, I attempt to tackle the idea that one person’s nostalgia is another persons junk. Each of these references can be found in the dizzying layers of each built piece.
Through sculpting and casting with paint the traditional notion that painting is reserved to the mere flatness of a canvas is obliterated. Unconventional tools like cookie presses, spatulas and silicone molds aid me in creating these adorned mounds. Paint inherently becomes object and as such challenges our idea of a “painter”. By creating micro environments I engage viewers in the act of reminiscing with me.