Studio Visit: Traci Fowler

Traci Fowler is an artist working in Chicago. Her work can be seen in PLEAT's August 2016 exhibition as well as tracifowler.com.

Please describe your work.
I make sculptures primarily but my work is interdisciplinary. I'm attracted to cheap materials, colorful objects and plastic and glitter but I also do a lot of intense craftwork like hand sewing and pottery. And recently I've been playing a lot with video and sound. 

What external and/or internal motivations guide your formal and conceptual choices?
Humor is extremely important to me. I think humor can have a lot of power. I think it can be radical and political. I'm fat and queer and chronically ill and so I make work about where those identities intersect, interact and contradict. I think a lot about sexuality and beauty and how little of that is allowed to people who are sick and disabled. I think about the intricacies of being a chronically ill person who happens to be fat. I'm basically trying to figure out what it looks and feels like to be cute and sexy and funny in a world where I am constantly desexualized and infantilized. 

Who are your artistic influences and what have you learned from them?
SO MANY. Okay first of all, to be honest, teens on instagram. There are so many really rad teen girls on instagram right now who make good art and are interested in social justice I'm constantly being inspired by the girl power that exists and thrives in some social media circles. I'm also just constantly inspired by the amazing work that the artists in my Chicago and online communities make. I'm constantly obsessing over Zachary Hutchinson, Ellen Nielson, Blaze Christopher, Efren Arcoiris, Allie Shyer, Christina Ko and Lorelei Christalilly's ceramics but the list could go on. I'm also really influenced by fashion. Think Somewhere X Nowhere, Lazy Oaf and Something Happening.