Harlee Mollenkopf

headshot of artist

Art-making functions as my tool for understanding society and the self by forging new and alternative ways of seeing. Through my artistic practice and education it is my goal to share this tool with others. Over the years my practice has culminated in the intersection of paper sculpture, alternative-process photography, and textile art. Due to the nature of my media, I create artist books that are primarily handcrafted and image based.

The physicality of working with paper weighs heavily on my artistic process. Tangibly altering my photographic prints is a powerful process that has an undeniably visceral effect. Cutting away at my paper dress forms is an overt and a violent form of erasure, and the tedious repetition reflects as an obsessive self-control. The use of vellum to obscure photographic imagery and in the construction of my paper sculptures serves as an oppressive second skin.

My current practice explores social pressures demanding perfect female form and how these pressures have a ubiquitous effect on the female psyche. The emphasis on process in my practice is cathartic, functioning as a way understand my own struggle, and an extend a hand to those who do the same.

We have all felt trapped or alienated by our bodies whether through physical or mental illness or disability, aging, or lacking the means of physical self-expression. I aspire to make art that starts a larger conversation about our relationships with our bodies and dichotomy of consciousness and bodily vessel. Emphasizing experiences of place and self through analog means and careful craft is my way of slowing down and relishing process to find meaning amid the immediacy of modern visual culture.

BA Studio Art Kenyon College
Expected MFA Studio Art Mills College 2019

Harlee Mollenkopf C.V