Ivana Carman (b.1991) is an emerging artist living and working in Philadelphia. Six years ago, she was a psychology major on track toward becoming a psychologist. After taking a few life-painting classes, she realized she couldn’t do anything else, and took a big leap of faith in transferring to The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Little did she know how relevant that field of interest would be to the work she makes today.
I find inspiration in the obscured, hidden in cabinets, drawers, and old notes, in the parts of my mind that unfold in solitude. As an observational painter, I’m simultaneously looking out at the world while registering my internal responses and desires, observing the overlooked outside of myself and within.
In my recent body of work, I deepen that exploration of interior vs exterior, expressing acute perceptions of my personal world and the psychological attachments underlying ordinary objects/spaces. I often use windows and mirrors as a symbol for a bridge between two worlds, revealing the ambiguities of the domestic space. Painting deeply personal objects and spaces from life requires a detached eye, making the final work evoke both intense vulnerability and emotional distance.
Carl Jung and his concepts of the unconscious mind – the idea that there is a well of fears, desires, and trauma just beyond the surface – inform my explorations. My recent work draws familiar materials from childhood (cut paper, pastel and crayons), which allows me to respond to my own unconscious desires with naïve spontaneity. After years of restricting myself to paint on canvas, I feel a greater openness to experimentation as my practice expands beyond the weight of historical painting traditions.