Michele Rushfeldt is a visual artist living and working in Brooklyn, NY and Plainfield, CT. Her three-dimensional work focuses on materials associated with sexuality and kink, and depicts how observations of fringe eroticism feel and look. Centralizing the viewer, the work incorporates them as a watcher of its activity; as part of the experience, emphasizing the performative aspect of the works. Originally from Minneapolis, MN, she obtained her BFA in painting from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, then her MFA from Pratt Institute. Her work has been exhibited nationally, including galleries in California, Washington, D.C., and New York. She is currently participating in the studio residency at Art Cake.
Artist Statement -
My mixed media works represent over-performative bodies, with a variety of elegant, glittering, dripping, and twisting objects-characters in the midst of their ‘acts.’ Materials take on a dominant role. Latex, rope, harnesses, steel, fabrics, and paints create dimensional forms that feel and look like the materials they employ: Stretchy, tense, balancing, caked with glitter, bulging, and translucent. I embrace the funny and peculiar aspects of kink. We have such a fetishization of plants and heritage right now that we’re all hoarding plants and learning languages and calling ourselves original. This new is a way to remind myself not to take it too seriously, it’s a kind of self portrait. My previous body of work was about observing the exhibitionism of others. The new work is more of a voyeurism of self. Folks divulge plant quantities in the same way and in the same glee as when they’re discussing their sexual kinks - with the same level of excitement they would use to say ‘Please, call me daddy.’ With this new work, I laugh at myself and invite others to do the same with a shrug that says, ‘Yes, I'm kind of ridiculous and I make no apology.’ Recently, I’ve been spending a lot more time in nature. I find the extreme contrast between the naturalistic materials like plants/moss against the wildly unnatural materials such as spray paint, rubber, rhinestones and steel reflects my internal conflict between my need for the city and my desperate want to be in the woods barefoot.