Leslie Fandrich

MFA ’18 Fine Arts Low-Residency

My feminist practice explores how intimate long term relationships negotiate dependency (attachment) and agency (separation) and how dualities, when treated equally, can create a third, paradoxical space where multiple things can be true at the same time. I collect discarded furniture, clothing and domestic items, transforming them into parts that become raw materials to create abstract compositions and anthropomorphized objects that are both familiar and strange. I want to connect the parts and create a sense of wholeness, but allow for space. Abstraction is a potent tool of the unfamiliar, humor is deployed to surprise and delight and I am interested in confusing what is a subject or object to delve into the abject where meaning breaks down.

Machine sewing, hand stitching and collage are processes that allow me to bring a variety of textures and materials together in unexpected ways. A pillowy sack sits atop wooden legs splayed out underneath. Anatomy shared across genders, like tongues and limbs, hang or pile on the floor. Zippers are entrances and exits: mouths, vulvas, orifices and wounds. The work requires care, needing to be fluffed and stitched back together when holes form. Objects feel alive, like they want to be picked up or might walk away. In my work, fabric often becomes skin and the tactility of textures is seductive, but details that resemble hair or pimples repel the touch. The erotic and the grotesque intertwine, we are both attached and separate, and love is loss.

Leslie Fandrich is a visual artist. Her 2022 solo exhibition Strings Attached at Garrison Art Center featured sculptures and collages. In January, Leslie was a resident at The Studios at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA, and last year she was interviewed on the Artist/Mother Podcast. Leslie teaches and mentors artists and has been a guest critic, lectured and facilitated numerous workshops. She received her MFA from MassArt in Boston and lives in Warwick, NY.