Lori Larusso  |  broken plate, full heart

July 31 - September 4, 2015   (west gallery)


My current work explores the unavoidable contradictions that exist in our personal (and collective) systems of belief, by pointing to the complexity of our individual situations and the structures that trap us when we try to alter those beliefs. While based in the experience of daily interaction with our immediate surroundings, these pieces examine looming traditional and cultural expectations that resist forces of change while also promising something better.  

My interest in representations of domestic spaces lies in the comfort that is implied, and the how this notion of comfort reduces the complexity that is present in the way these material forms were produced and came to occupy the domestic space. The domestic sphere is a private place, but we are constantly seeing curated snapshots of domestic life via facebook, instagram, mommy blogs, etc. This is no different than the 1950s depictions of women happily slaving away at domestic chores. These new blogs have replaced the old Better Homes and Gardens, Family Circle, and Woman’s Day magazines. Our “retro” pasts have become some women’s current reality. Our home lives are never that simple or neat, they cannot be summed up in an image of a freshly baked pie, images of toddlers in knitted sweaters and homemade haircuts, or even in a picture of a pile of dirty laundry and the mess that the new puppy made. These images only begin to present a version of what is really going on inside the home. 

The Afterparty series evolved out of a body of work that presents images of beautifully perfect, whole (uneaten) birthday cakes at the moment after the candles have been blown out but before the cake has been cut. While there is something occasionally tragic or ironic about representations of perfection, I believe the Afterparty paintings encompass something more. These works maintain a sliver of the perfection inherent in a whole, beautifully prepared cake while refusing the viewer an obvious image of perfection; rather these pieces suggest a more direct representation of a cake (as in, half-eaten; cakes are meant to be eaten) while they allude to notions of excess and post-party sentiment.


See more of Lori's work on her Artist Page.