Cheryl Agulnick Hochberg

Noon at Arrozola, 15in. x 25in. Watercolor and Silver on Paper, 2014Slovenly BisonSlovenly Bison (detail)How Fish Get Born (2011), oil on panel, 30 x 40in
Sheep with Paratroopers (2012), oil/silver leaf on panel, 14 x 14inItchy Kangaroos (2012), oil on panel, 40 x 60inMemories of the Tropics (2012), oil and gold leaf on panel, 40 x 60inFox Rain (2010), oil on panel, 9 x 12in
Chicken Feed from Heaven (2010), oil and gold leaf on panel, 14 x 18inMean Sun Kitty (2010), pastel and gold leaf on paper, 25 x 40inOlas y Alas (2012), pastel/silver leaf/collage on paper, 25 x 40inSexy Goats (2012), watercolor and gold leaf on paper, 12 x 30in

Artist Statement (2012)
There are two central concerns that I address through my artwork; I’d call the first my creative vision and the second my mission.

There is – and has always been – a realist component to nearly everything I make. What I choose to represent has changed over time: I have used the figure, landscape, and still life as subject. For the past two years, animals have been my central subjects. I find their complex forms and varied textures endlessly interesting, and I also find their “bearings” compelling. They have qualities of naiveté’, insight, and also vulnerability.

My work has humorous elements, but it is ultimately strange and carries a somewhat dark undercurrent. In the worlds I present, nothing is more than a small concern or a minor annoyance. There are bugs, strange weather, and troubling predicaments. There are also mutations that leave a viewer uneasy. The larger result is a circumstance where nothing is really wrong – and perhaps everything is fine. But perhaps any minute something might turn terribly wrong and a situation that seemed under control might spin out into something far more upsetting…or not. This is my vision and it is representative (for me) of the larger state of things.

I do not live in an art center. My region (the Lehigh Valley) is quite Middle-American in its demeanor. Through my many professional activities – artist, arts advocate, and studio art department chair (at Kutztown University) – I work to raise the profile of the visual arts and connect the artists I know and the larger community. Everything I do, to some degree, is an effort to bring people together through art.

This “mission” manifests itself predominately in my show installations. I direct a lot of my attention to the viewing experience of my audience, and I try to build shows that they are accessible at multiple levels. I care very much that the educated art-viewing audience respects my work, but I also am very pleased when casual art viewers or children also like it. For this reason, my shows have not only framed pieces that hang on the wall, but also three dimensional work, interactive work, and work that moves into the viewer’s space. I design highly engaging, visually surprising viewing experiences for all my shows, and this design is a direct response to what one might call my “political” intentions.

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