Selfies | Natalie Byers

Artist Statement | During my MFA studies, I spent a great deal of time researching ancient and modern ceremonies and rituals of all kinds, from rain dances to sacrifices to birthday wishes, which propelled me towards more collaborative and performance-based works. Ceramics and paper artist, Andy Byers, had this gorgeous set of palladium luster ceramic Maske that I wanted to work with. In essence, I wanted to surround myself with beautiful things and rely as much as possible on my subconscious to make beautiful things. I also wanted to make something that lived and breathed in a moment that couldn’t/shouldn’t be edited. Conversely, I’m fascinated with contemporary rituals as well; specifically, selfie culture. The online world is a curated version of our lives and this process of prepping, posing, and editing often leads to a more vulnerable and revealing subject: the sublime and grotesque human.

Natalie Byers is a mother, poet, and teacher living in the Ozarks of Southwest Missouri. She has an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and an MA from Missouri State University. Publications can be found in Witness, Slipstream, Foothill, and elsewhere.