Leading up to ele:mental’s opening reception on September 27 (7-9pm) at the Beacon Arts Building, we will feature one artist in the show every few days on this blog. Today’s focus is painter Rachel Stiff.
For Stiff, the process is the work itself. Oftentimes combining moments from her past and present, she weds forms and moods as disparate as “the brilliance of nearly fluorescent sweet peas to the beauty that exists in decay.” After growing up on a farm in rural Montana, Stiff sought new experiences in Arizona, then Los Angeles, where she currently resides. Given her exposure to such radically eclectic lifestyles, elements of each environment appear as distinctive layers within her work; puddles of shellac reference a childhood encounter with cow afterbirth while architectural gold leaf nods to the cheap glitz of Hollywood. In pairing these contrasting materials, Stiff – in essence – crafts a composite portrait of herself, while citing the magnificent abstraction inherent to being.
Stiff received her M.F.A. from the University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ in 2012. She currently lives and works in Los Angeles.