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Emile Mausner

Artist Statement Submitted 2020

The indefinable element of fantasy in all performance of identity is a defining interest of my practice. Engaging subtle tensions between ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture, my work invokes an ephemeral interior landscape of yearning for mythology beyond the merely personal. Style and archetype are crucial in reckoning with the past-less feeling I find to be peculiar to the suburban South: each form signals the ripeness of its territory, which, try as you might, you may never precisely locate.

Interiority often feels like fantasy’s exile. Accordingly, my work visualizes a dream of communion with collective ancestors. Apprehensions about decadent aestheticism are carefully countered by joyful pastiche and the sincerity of gesture in ‘fan art.’ Sculptural objects with materials sourced from recycled cardboard and insulation fiber are paired with enigmatic, polished paintings as a means of addressing the role of fantasy in producing creative tension between unhinged desire and limited resources.

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