The conceptual core of my work is built around questions about relationships between people, objects and animals. My body of work reflects a preoccupation with our relationship to stereotypes of various objects and activities in American culture. Fundamentally everything I make is based on an internal narrative which tests the need people have to categorize/pigeonhole objects, experiences and people. A tension results when things cannot be cataloged into tidy compartments; it is this tension that I explore. Much of my work scrutinizes gender classification of various icons. My interest in hunting iconography stems from the fact that hunting is an ancient survival strategy that has become elusive and mysterious as urban culture has grown. My own transition from urban New York City to rural upstate New York made me feel like a foreigner. Mystified, I witnessed the elaborate rituals of hunting- so beautiful and beastly at the same time. The original work that responded to that consisted of transforming a Ford F-150 pick-up truck into a pink powerhouse complete with pink-flocked gun mounts, flesh colored silicone floor mats and a hunting wardrobe. I named her Sugar and she was the core of my feminine hunting persona.
As I developed a relationship with Sugar she became my muse and inspiration for many trophy objects. Trophy heads acquired through hunting are typically, though not exclusively, masculine in their association. Hunters prize their collection of trophy mounts as a memory of the activity of conquests; however, my trophy heads are not being used as statements about hunting, but as a symbol for the ‘male collection’. I use deer heads as an iconic object and a baseline for abstraction and embellishment to challenge the stereotypic response. Often I marry the trophy head to soft and feminine porcelain figures as well as to the pink-flocked surface of a doily. The slipcover on a trophy head serves the same purpose as a vinyl couch cover- preservation of a valuable. As another stream of work, Sugar became a series of pink porcelain trucks figurines. A primary methodology in my work is the multiple. It is through working with multiples that I pursue an understanding of objects and ideas, internalizing the form and ultimately becoming intimate with the object as it is Reproduced. Layers of meaning peel back as the process becomes a meditation in repetition. The latest series, Mapping Absence, is about the remnants of loss. The object acts as a guide; it is a memory of the passing into ‘elusivity’. It is what the presence of absence looks like and ideally it speaks of absence and presence in one breath.
Christina Pitsch received her MFA from The New York State College of Ceramics, Alfred University and a BA from Sarah Lawrence College. Her work is a hybrid of materials and techniques driven by larger conceptual questions of cultural icons and gender identification. Frequently her work uses animals (and fragments thereof) to tell stories about the complexity of relationships.
She has shown extensively throughout the United States including exhibitions at: Purdue University, Manhattanville College (NY), The Clay Art Center (NY), Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts, The Print Center (Philadelphia), and Palm Springs Art Museum, Mark Miller Gallery (NYC), and the Governors Island Art Fair (NYC). Internationally she has participated in residencies and exhibitions in the Netherlands, Switzerland, China and Taiwan. She was featured in the March/April 2013 issue of Artscope magazine as one of the 13 for 2013 to watch. After 11 years as a full time faculty member and department chairperson, she is now happily working full time in her studio.
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