Dist of Columbia

Artist's statement

Full Artist's statement

Two intertwined projects make up the bulk of my work:  The White House Collection, self-portraits as First Ladies, and Studies in Domination, primarily installations. Both projects explore and expand the parameters of painting, from the more intimate easel paintings of The White House Collection, to the large, site-specific, architectural work in Studies in Domination.

From The White House Collection --

America Povera addresses the dichotomy of the promise of America and the reality. The portraits are painted on cardboard, redolent of poverty and homelessness, and are mounted on “wallpaper” with patterns of the military-industrial-corporate complex to give social and political context to the figures, First Ladies as underpaid and under-appreciated workers.  Selections from America Povera have been exhibited at Tikhonova&Wintner and Dixon Place in New York, and in Studio Montclair Viewpoints, curated by Sue Scott.

Summer in the City apposes First Lady imagery and guns with “fun in the sun.”  Summer takes the American obsession with packing heat to its logical and darkly humorous (although, now, sadly, all too true) conclusion. A monograph of Summer in the City, with an essay by curator Yulia Tikhonova, was published by Enlightening Press in 2015. Upshur Street Books in DC and Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi hosted signings and exhibitions in 2016. The book is also available at East City Bookshop in Capitol Hill.

From Studies in Domination -- 

America Selfie is a portrait of America now, a contemporary psychosexual take on history painting that uses current events, American history, national symbols, and contemporary and art historical imagery to explore and develop a portrait of America. The Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College at the University of Mississippi debuted the installation of America Selfie to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Honors College during the Fall 2017 semester. 39th Street Gallery in the Gateway Arts Center in Brentwood MD hosts the work in January 2018.


Please visit my website www.lauraelkinsartist.com and my two Instagram pages - https://www.instagram.com/lauraelkins/ and https://www.instagram.com/aliasart/ plus She Works Hard for the Money on Topic.com -- https://www.topic.com/fp2/she-works-hard-for-the-money


All work by Laura

Laura Elkins
2017, 78x48 inches, oil on cardboard mounted on acrylic on Tyvek