Transformers are simply security envelopes that I have steamed open and present inside out, revealing the decorative patterning contained inside. This act of reversal makes a point of how the decorative can function as a security system by obscuring vision. Being distinct as pattern as opposed to composition, homogeneous rather than hierarchical, the decorative is not designed to express power, but rather to support it. The pattern within a security envelope functions to create a visual blockage by blurring or greying readability, rather than creating distinction. Distorting the capacity to see clearly provides protection and security.
Transformation through reversal is the theme. Flattening the envelopes three-dimensional form creates an anthropomorphic transformation into portraiture. I think of the Transformers as security guards, little robot-like heads, with expressive appendages, the opened flaps signifying head, ears and jaw, and the address window is recast into an eye.
Reversal also defines presentation and display. Following up on the idea of the decorative as supportive, collage and framing become expressive tools. Gluing glitter to the tab on the top flap of the envelope fails to seal the envelope closed, but fulfils a decorative role. Collage is used to change the shape, or expression of the envelope’s image. The envelopes are framed in handmade mats, created to be inseparable from the works they are in service of presenting. The mat repeats the original function of the envelope, as a container and protector of content.
Transformer #1. Security envelope, glitter. 19 x 20 inches, 2012.
Transformer #2. Security envelope, glitter. 18 x 22 inches, 2012.
Transformer #3. Security envelope, glitter. 17 x 24 inches, 2012.