Semester of Graduation

Summer 2018

Degree

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department

Studio Art

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Darkness on the Edge of Town focuses on a series of dioramas I created accompanied by audio and video. This thesis exhibition is based on a series of interviews I conducted with a friend who is a recovering opioid addict who has spent the majority of his life incarcerated for drug offenses. The American opioid epidemic currently looms large mostly because of the influx of drug abuse in middle class white communities. My subject is of Puerto Rican descent and represents the much harsher treatment of minority addicts by the criminal justice system. His personal story represents a deep yearning to overcome his past and start anew, but also a sense of alienation from existing so long outside the bounds of society. By creating a portrait of my friend, I am also investigating the issue of addiction more broadly. My role as an artist is to convey his story, and visually recreate the memories that he has lost due to his imprisonment and addiction, while also humanizing him as a person whose basic rights have been curtailed by the system.

Date

7-10-2018

Committee Chair

Ostrenko, Derick

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