writing

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About The Work

Diana Shpungin’s artistic practice is dedicated to challenging ideas of drawing through sculptural and time based forms. The works involve obsessive processes while exploring themes of memory, superstition, failure, loss, repair and domestic decay, –employing optimism in a quest for empathy across identity lines.

The use of graphite pencil, both permanent and denoting erasure, is the foundation. While an obsessive language of materials/techniques has been gleaned based on Shpungin’s late surgeon immigrant fathers frugal methods in medicine/domestic life. The sculptural works function as drawings in space, meticulously coating objects with graphite pencil as if they removed themselves from the picture plane and into bodily space.

Concerned with beauty as a sublime idea rather than as a straightforward formal element, the sentimental both seduces and repels. However, that duality has become a necessary element in the work, always looking for a balance between form and content, superstition and logic, light and darkness, science and the sentimental, public and private and the poetic and the rational. Thematically, the work emphasizes the value and universal appeal of the personal and hand-made in a time where the impersonal and machine-made is so prevalent.

All these methods maintain a peculiar sense of longing, –the subject matter may directly address this, a formal sensibility of tension may be employed or longing can be implied by way of a self-imposed conceptual failure, –often having a purposeful yet ambiguous sense of incompletion.