Sarah Bowling is an interdisciplinary artist living and working in Denver, Colorado. She recently received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
It is desire that gives shape to absence. In my work, I explore the constructs of desire: the expectations of sexuality, the power dynamics embedded within intimacy, and the phases of vulnerability within relationships and the self. Often veiled in defensive tones and sweet nothings, I question the disconnect of tenderness and solidity, the fragmentary self and the societal “whole”. Playfully exposing my vulnerabilities and surrendering myself to the public, I confuse the role of viewer as voyeur. The invitation to participate is merely a facade. You can look but you can’t touch. Teetering between moments of growth and demise, I create a space where climaxing is not obligatory. The perpetual limbo between pleasure and pain, bliss and longing, truth and play, victory and surrender is where my work finds traction.
As daunting as it may be to expose oneself, I am not shy. My work is brightly colored, blingy, and unapologetically demands attention. Consistent in my work is a mimicry of the push/pull dynamic between two “bodies”, executed through material tension. This disconnection, or momentary connection, is visualized in my work through the pairing of unassuming materials such as concrete embedded with gaudy jewels or faux fingernails creating a draped textile.
I view my work as a language for the human condition. My work is meant to claim space in a way my thoughts cannot. I am seduced by the way humans claim space daily, physically but more so emotionally: clothing advertising personal allegiances, the tendency to cling to a wall in a crowded space, or the internal monologue curating personal thoughts and emotions. These are acts of deceitfully claiming space or coping with the fear of taking up too much. My art is meant to consume its space and playfully invite viewers to do the same.