Amy Garofano

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Artist Statement

One of my objectives with these works is to address questions typically asked in the arena of painting using the problem-solving techniques of upholstery. Upholstery offers me a set of new approaches to the old tensions of figure / ground, representation / illusion, and surface / object. I can create the illusion of drawn lines with real edges, and I subvert the expected surface-object relationship using the body’s haptic knowledge of fabric and furniture. The fabric I buy is my readymade painted surface.

Another objective is to question the conditions of our built environments. Designers and architects are generating the forms that surround us, and I see their decisions wielding a power to encode cultural attitudes and ideology. Instead of inventing my own forms I trace them from spaces and design encyclopedias. I pull together stylistic elements from a range of periods to test out and play with that encoded meaning.

I’m particularly looking at the alienation that comes with discrepancies between the self and these encoded cultural attitudes and ideologies. I often look at the shift from Victorianism into early Modernism as a case study. People were alienated by their heavy, ornate domestic environments and had to radically experiment to find new forms to match their new social arrangements. This sense of alienation is one that I still believe is a major component of our experience in domestic, subcultural, and public spaces. I trace these spaces and use upholstery as a way to understand and explore that alienation.




M.F.A., Cranbrook Academy of Art.

B.A., Gordon College, 2002




PIASA, Bloody Red Sun of Fantastic L.A., Paris- Group show curated by René-Julian Praz.

Plug Projects, Personal Space, Kansas City, MO -Two-person show with Cybele Lyle.

Hammock Gallery, LadyGirlyFemale, Los Angeles, CA – Group show curated by Katie Bode.

Loudhailer Gallery, Material Abstraction, Los Angeles, CA- Three-person show with Ariel Herwitz and Devin Farrand.


Daylight Savings Gallery, The Shelf, New York, NY – Group show curated by Martha Mysko and Anne Vieux.


Haute Ecole d’Art et de Design, Electric Fields, Geneva, Switzerland -Group show curated by Mai-Thu Perret.

General Projects, A Show For You, Los Angeles, CA – Group show curated by Chris Niemi and Mathew Timmons.


Vox Populi Gallery, VOXVIII, Philadelphia, PA – Group show juried by Ruba Katrib, Curator at SculptureCenter.

Miami University, Young Painters Competition, Oxford, OH – Group show juried by Irene Hofmann, Director of SITE Santa Fe.


Butter Projects, Convergent Currents, Bloomfield Hills, MI -Group show curated by Allison Wong.

Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, Experiencing Perspectives, Farmington Hills, MI.


Forum Gallery, Winter Solstice Show, Bloomfield Hills, MI.


Cambridge Art Association, National Prize Show, Cambridge, MA-  Group show juried by Joseph Thompson, Director of MassMoCA.


Residencies, Grants, and Awards


MacDowell Colony Residency and Fellowship.


Dedalus Foundation M.F.A. Fellowship Nominee.

Eleanor E. Poplack Cranbrook Merit Scholarship 2011


Haystack Mountain School of Crafts Residency.

Stewart Thomson Fellowship Award.


Curatorial Experience


Machine Project, Forensic Tableaus, Los Angeles, CA.


Forum Gallery, De-authoring, Bloomfield Hills, MI.



Raab, Annie, “Vaguely New and Still Familiar: Plug Projects in the Summer,”, 26 July, 2015, Web

Hammer Museum and the Hammer Student Association, “Graphite VI: Practice,” Graphite Journal, June 2015, Print

Gerwin, Daniel, “VoxVIII,” Title Magazine, 13 July 2012, Web

Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, “ExperiencingPerspectives,” Exhibition Catalog, 2011, Print and Web