Cody Schlabaugh, ‘Untitled (Red Green)’, 2015, ShopColumbia

Artists Statement

Lifeless stills and lively color paradoxically combine to emanate an eerily immersed envelope of quietude. This body of work examines the formal qualities of color and its transformation of familiar objects by stripping them of their recognizable characteristics with the purpose of creating scenes that display a fleeting presence of human existence. Light and color go hand in hand to evoke a sense of mood, emotion, and atmosphere within the viewer.

This body of work plays into subjective notions of nostalgia. We all feel a longing for past ways, although many of us do not even remember experiencing these times. Those feelings are formed from past depictions of a desirable standard of living. We only have an inkling of how these times were from kitschy fragments of objects left behind in brown boxes and antiquated attic spaces. By exaggerating the colors of these iconic and mundane objects, the scenes expand to feel as if they were a part of a distant time, or an otherworldly daydream.

Assembled around a singular idea or found object, a set is constructed to bring a narrative to the scene as if it were a still from a film with an implied past and future for the viewer to interpret. The found items come from a varying range of time periods, some vintage and some modern. When mixed with reminiscent wallpapers and prints these elements combine to yield a familiar yet surreal vignette that places the viewer in a comfortably unsettling contradiction of sensory inverses.

Image rights: Image courtesy of artist.

About Cody Schlabaugh