Limerick, Ireland
Joanne Lefrak, Overgrown, 2006, burned paper, shadow, 210 x 150 cm

Joanne Lefrak

b. 1977, USA

My work explores the natural processes of decay and regeneration. Inspired by the traditions of Dutch vanitas paintings, which depict subjects of sumptuous beauty tinged with a bit of rot, I create work that employs such apparent contradictions to unsettling effects. My artistic process is one based upon elimination. I use techniques such as burning, cutting and scratching in order to create my compositions. This destructive process is intentionally at odds with my illusory, delicate aesthetic, which is multi-layered and substantive.

This current body of work is based on the remains of buildings in ghost towns in New Mexico. Although these sites have long been abandoned, signs of life are hauntingly evident. By remembering the past in the present, a viewer can experience a living ghost. The works become monuments to failure that also merge the recurring patterns of loss and regeneration.

(Text: a sense of place catalogue, 2007)

Back to Artists