The School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Light bores. Light bores into my eyes, making my pupils shrink and recoil in fear and my temples throb. Light bores onto my skin, marking it's territory with a tan that is hot to touch. This boring, piercing, twisting light that leaves only a hole in its wake is inherently violent and is my constant companion in my Los Angeles studio. The dual nature of light as enticing and detrimental is present in my work, where glares of graphite thinly veil the scratching and burning of my obsessive, excessive hand. My right hand's impatience drives my practice, keeping the physicality of mark making at the core of each piece's conception. With aggressive actions, such as burning holes through fabric, smearing ink across vellum, or ripping a Xerox transfer print, I am eager to make each found image or material my own. My insatiable need to make the work comes from growing up with a family business, a traditional German bakery on the south side of Chicago. Working at the bakery, I started my days before dawn and learned to value hard work and using my hands. I recognize my concerns with physical labor, materials, and production as parts heritage and ritual in the studio.
I left Chicago in February for Los Angeles, and the transition is evident in the work. Marks in each drawing range from hasty and impulsive to painstaking and considered, a tension indicative of my own feelings of uncertainty surrounding the move. Having grown up in the Midwest, Los Angeles still seems strange and can be isolating, so I look to my idols for reassurance. There is a reason why the Rolling Stones finished Exile on Main St. at Sunset Sound and why Neil Young drove here from Canada in a hearse. I am still getting used to my own self-imposed LA exile; the light is different here. As my eyes adjust, I keep my hands busy. The sweat on my fingers makes the graphite slide with ease across the arid surfaces, and I let the paper curl in the sun.
Sarah Weber (b. 1988) received her M.F.A. from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 2011 and her B.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2009. Her work has recently been exhibited at Vita Art Center (Ventura), Heaven Gallery (Chicago), Lloyd Dobler Gallery (Chicago), and Galerie Nord (Berlin). Solo exhibitions include Honor Your Poets, The Franklin, (Chicago) and Just A Phase, Rena Sternberg Gallery (Glencoe). In 2013, Sarah was awarded the Ox-Bow Scholarship, funded by the Joan Mitchell Foundation. She currently lives and works in Los Angeles.