America is a workaholic. So much effort is put into worrying and micromanaging and rearranging and fixing that the actual subtance of life can get lost. I see people do this, I feel myself do this and it troubles me. Laying all of this down in a worn out figure seems to fix it somewhat. At least, I feel in acknowledging the struggle can start the path of being comforted, of calming down. I don’t think I could ever make work that isn’t tense. To ignore tension seems dishonest. I don’t think there is any room for improvement if you are dishonest about the current situation. Trying to capture it all and placing it on a human figure and their surroundings is alleviating. This is what I want other people to recognize in my work. I want them to see the anxieties and hurt that people carry with them, take a breath, and think ‘Okay, now it’s out on the table.’
In my artwork there is a pulling in opposite directions. In life, I am often frustrated by things like that. In art, I find it comforting. Art is an opportunity to let things be laid out as they are and openly examined. I try to make all of my artwork as truthful as it can be, so I draw people in an extreme state. When I begin to draw a person I try to fill them out as much as I can. I fit wrinkles into every pocket of empty space on their skin to not miss a spot. In a way it's like trying to do them justice, I don’t want to underplay the anxieties and traumas that all people suffer. I think there is a rudeness in not showing this side of people.
Each person I draw I think of as a holistic representation of all people, of what it’s like to be human, especially a human who has grown up in America.
Artist Bio / CV
Amy Conroy grew up in Ohio. She moved to Pittsburgh in 2004 to attend Carnegie Mellon University. She graduated with a B.F.A. in 2008 with a concentration in printmaking and drawing. Amy has attended the Vermont Studio Center and Oxbow residencies.