Monica Leslie Travis
The relationships between the self, the body, and sexuality deserve exploration, for we would know hardly anything about them without [the use of] rigorous investigation.
Herein lies my work. I create works in four dimensions to avail myself of what lies beyond the surface of things—the fourth dimension being time, since all materials, surfaces, and bodies are susceptible to its influence. The resulting detachment and fragmentation are inherent to the nature of these themes, and so become apparent as a symbol: the breaking down of personal armor through the physical interaction between myself and my artwork—a direct effect of the process of creation.Throughout the years I have familiarized myself with metals, light, sound, and surface-manipulating technologies in order to fully develop the scope of my endeavors through visual art. The culture of my family is deeply rooted in the arts, and of my earliest influences were Rene Magritte, the photography book Hearts of Darkness by Don McCullin, and the figurative and dreamlike work of Hieronymous Bosch. These seeded my visual vocabulary in early childhood.My work demonstrates a strong concentration in steel but is by no means restricted to it. I often incorporate materials such as wood, plexi, and new technological media.
My work as a whole is a series of investigations informed by experiential research: I manipulate steel to embody my visions.More recently I have been exploring the theme of valuation and the concept behind appraised art. We idealize value and then compare what we have to what we can sell, and this itself substantiates value. I explore this theme using metals, for the assignment of cost in the art world is its own kind of alchemy—forging rudimentary materials and turning them into something of value.The current direction of my work is leading me outwards. I am currently increasing in size and scale to study and further explore the transference of ego, or what amounts to the creation of a visual legacy. Taking the micro/macro view, my focus is on expansion outward from the self, incorporating earth and land—the body from which we all extend.As a sculptor, the space between all things is my manifest destiny.