Artist for Day 6 – KASS COPELAND
I’m an artist and designer who has lived and worked in Chicago since 1995. Before earning a BFA from The Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida, I studied and apprenticed with my father, a theatrical and circus prop designer and craftsman. When I’m not working on my art I enjoy working with my clients as a freelance designer and illustrator.
About My Work
I find the puzzling together of previously unrelated objects and images very satisfying. Like joining words together to form a poem, my pieces reveal themselves to me as I form new associations with elements that already have separate histories. Humor is an important component in my work because it provides a universal means of communication.
I rescue discarded furniture and household items from alleys and search junk shops for objects and old photos that have stories to tell. My studio wall is filled with shelves of labeled bins containing carefully sorted items. These objects play a fundamental role in my work and are combined with collage and painting.
In my most recent series I’ve created large scale collages on the surfaces of discarded hollow core doors found near construction dumpsters in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. I also incorporate recycled digital trash by using phrases and names from junk email to inspire concepts for my pieces. My work is rooted in a narrative foundation because words have always evoked images for me. I often use favorite childhood stories, rhymes or songs as resources. By focusing on these texts, I hope to provide an alternative view of the past by placing these themes into contemporary, social, and sometimes political, context.