Biography & Project Statement
The New York Times’ Critic Benjamin Genocchio wrote on March 5, 2009: “Among other outstanding photographs are Aimee Hertog’s wickedly funny ‘Hamptons Fun v. Iowa Flood,’ in which the artist has digitally collaged imagery of people swimming in the Hamptons into flooded urban landscape scenes from Iowa. The juxtaposition is so incongruous and silly that you can’t help but laugh.” The article pertains to the show at City Without Walls in Newark.
Aimee Chappell Hertog was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. She received her B.A. from Bennington College and her MFA at Montclair State University. Aimee had two pieces selected from the several thousand entries in the NYU Small Works competition. She has been in several exhibitions in the New York City area including two one-person shows with Chashama. In 2011, Aimee won Best in Show at Wide Open 2 in BWAC, chosen by Guggenheim curator Nat Trotman. Her work is in the collection of the Newark Public Library, among other organizations.
My art disrupts and opposes the myth of marital bliss that is propagated in the media as the dream of young women. My world is filled with chaos, a rabid and colorful domestic stew that includes the visceral aspects of marriage and childhood—discarded wedding and bridesmaid dresses, used kitchen utensils, baby puke, peanut butter, and broken toys—as opposed to the glamorous existence featured in the plethora of bride and home living magazines available on the newsstands. I began using the rubbish from my domestic life as the primary materials for my art, rather than conventional art materials, when I realized the importance of aligning the content of my art with the materials used to construct it. Some objects are transformed with paint or ripped apart; others are left in their raw state, such as pieces of fabric, dead flowers and broken glass. The construction is energetic in order to mirror the interior and exterior turmoil of domesticity. My most recent sculptures pair feminine tropes—folktales such as Bluebeard, and the contemporary household diva—with violent visual distortions constructed from cheerfully colorful and delicate domestic objects. These works reflect the struggle women face in constructing and retaining their identities within a stringent cultural climate.
Concurrently with my sculptures, I create digital photographs in which my sculptures are placed into a two-dimensional landscape where they clearly look out of place. My sculptures become actors in narratives involving friendly visitors or slightly perturbed outsiders. At other times their roles are those of victim or aggressor. With these photos, I record the dysfunction of contemporary society with particular emphasis on the exploration of female identity.