Exhibition & Residency:
April 1 – May 30, 2011
Amy Justen became an artist because she found so many things that were difficult for her to express through language: insights gleaned about the human condition through observation and meditation. She focused her studies on the human figure during her education at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, through the mediums of painting, printmaking and sculpture, always with the goal of further understanding humanity and herself.
Toward the end of her time at the Art Institute, she moved away from figurative work and became immersed in mixed media sculpture and installation, melding the elements of earth, air, fire and water in sculptures made of welded metal, handmade paper, beeswax and human hair. She considers herself a very process oriented, visionary artist, meaning that she would have a “vision” of a finished project and then work backwards figuring out how to bring this vision into fruition.
She has worked as a professional tattooist for 15 years and have mastered the medium, with forays back into the fine art world, mostly through painting, still exhibiting the work on at least a yearly basis. Her work is in private collections throughout the country and adorns the bodies of thousands of people throughout the world. She plans to use her time at the 18th Street Art center to meld the two mediums: bringing together the art of painting with the aesthetics of tattooing with works on paper, and to create some small scale sculptures that she can see in her mind’s eye and now need to figure out how to bring into fruition.