I am interested in the relationship that individuals develop with their bodies as the result of physical discomfort, pain, or trauma. Often, healing is found by communicating an experience, but so often this communication is lost due to pain’s subjective nature. I find this loss of communication very similar to my experience in art making. Because pain and art resist language in similar ways, artistic expression is my tool for sharing and healing from the subjective experience of pain.
My work is process-based because I believe that the subconscious has much more to say about my experiences with pain than my ego. The images refer to the physicality of being human and the history of what a body has endured, physically and psychologically. Through making images I am able to meditate on the strange and uncomfortable experiences of owning a body, and through this experience I repair the relationship that I have with my own physicality.
There resides in Minneapolis a young savant of art-spiration and quality loose leaf teas. Madison Elyse Rubenstein has called the Twin Cities her home for the best years of her life, and god willing, many more. In the time I’ve known her, Madison’s art has expressed a freedom of sense, a transcendental respect for the individual experience; if wonderment had a flavor, I would be hard pressed to doubt it to be her transformative pieces. Inspired by the likes of Carl Jung, she challenges what, as humans, we are willing to set as boundaries for the subconscious, the visceral, the macabre, and the internalized. As an artist myself, my greatest challenge is conjuring up the nerve to provide life to a collective work, to align pieces with a sheer and feather-light hope that they will relate and connect. Madison can do this with a seemingly effortless grace, although grace would be the last word she would use. She would say, “It isn’t about thought. Art is messy. It’s a feeling. You’re looking at different parts of you and maybe some you didn’t know were there.” This whimsy is a grounding force for her, and each project adheres to the concept of feeling over form, although her proclivity for using unconventional techniques and media is what I have come to admire most about her art, and you should too.