From used lingerie, designer footwear and costume jewellery to old toys, naff souvenirs and broken paintbrushes, artist Rachel Klinghoffer takes the things we throw out and turns them into sculptural artworks.
Her latest body of work, Suspended in my Masquerade, explores nostalgia and how the things we own can spark memories and become sentimental. The title references a lyric from Bruce Springsteen's Growin' Up, which inspires an emotional connection to her own youth.
Each of her sculptures is organic and alien-like, adorned with small embedded objects of personal significance. They are poked, prodded, stained, sprayed, stroked, rubbed, dipped, then pulled, torn, cracked open and broken apart. Surface colours reference the Romantics, particularly the Hudson River School with its emphasis on the subtleties and range of light. And shapes hint at everyday objects including pre-loved sneakers, repurposed precious and semiprecious stones.
The series is also based on the craft of memory glass-making, a popular activity for girls during the time of Klinghoffer's own Bat Mitzvah celebrations. Titles of the works are pulled from the lyrics of her playlists – The Grateful Dead, Talking Heads, Beatles, Tom Petty, Drake, Paul Simon, Phish, TV on the Radio, and so on. It's just a delight to figure out what each piece represents, and what it's made of.
Suspended in my Masquerade by Rachel Klinghoffer opens at The Skirt at Ortega Y Gasset Projects gallery in New York City on 25 January and runs until the end of March 2020.