Author/Artist Name

Christine CoxFollow



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Academic Level at Time of Creation


Date of Creation

Spring 4-26-2024

Artist Statement

Sonder is the realization that every stranger and passerby has a life and experience that is just as complex and vivid as your own. The elderly person beside you on the bus, the couple in the restaurant, the children on the playgrounds, we are all alive for the first time. A concept that seems obvious, but when the time is taken to truly understand it, you also begin to understand humanity as a whole. Every person desires to see the good in the world, and we often turn to grand gestures of hope and stories of human resilience, but we often forget to observe the blessing of humanity that passes by us every day, on the bus, in the restaurant, and on the playgrounds. Selfish is an homage to this phenomenon, and a thank you note to all of the strangers and passers-by in my own life who have helped me understand the simple beauty of being alive, and an acknowledgement of their effect on myself as an individual by selfishly living their own truth, just as I am with mine.

I find that my concepts are most accurately represented in a muted grayscale with the occasional bold singular color to add contrast, with the majority of my pieces consisting of charcoal, both pencils and loose. I regularly push the size of the work to create three-dimensional installations or experiences of surrealist depictions of myself or other human figures, distorted in a way that emphasizes how a mental struggle may manifest itself physically. This often results in realistic depictions of gore, or other morbid concepts related to the subject matter. My works are self-portraits, not solely because I am drawing my physical body, but rather an expression of my experiences, ones that I hope viewers can place themselves within. Self-ish if you will.

Throughout my time creating these works, I have been captivated by artists such as the illustrator Caroline Harrison and visual artist Catherine Chalmers. Both artists have an immaculate attention to detail, and a style that demands it at every point on the canvas. I replicate this level of craftsmanship as well as the amount of information presented on one artwork at a time. The dark, dreary environment they are able to create evokes a deeply visceral and emotional response I strive to achieve in my own artwork. These artists—in this twisted way—inspired me to depict mental health struggles with very physical and gut-wrenching depictions of gruesome scenarios, while allowing the craftsmanship of my pieces render them “beautiful”, thus creating an interesting juxtaposition for the audience. Most notably, the inclusion of insects as an homage to the natural world is often a more direct way to incorporate “beauty” into any one of my artworks. It allows for an easy connection and understandable motifs to allow my own artistic message to be easily digestible while remaining a supporting role in the overall artwork.

“The human experience is what is really at the heart of all my work.”

My hope is for the viewers of my show to feel seen in not only perhaps the uneasy experiences they have gone through, but also a realization of their effect on others simply by being alive. The works I make are uncomfortable, dark, and perhaps disgusting to some; but I feel they also exude comfort, for there is an innate human desire to express this hurt where others can witness and understand a situation where it is easy to feel alone. Human experience is never performed alone.

I believe the ability to share knowledge, compassion, empathy, and understanding regarding experiencing painful circumstances and creating a shared level of consciousness is the paramount principle within the agonizingly beautiful human experience.


Katie Knoeringer, Mike Martin, Scott Cook, Dr. Antje Gamble


The title for my Senior Exhibition is “Self-ish”. It is an acknowledgment that all of my works are about myself and the idea that this can be seen as selfish on the surface, however I wish to make the viewers question what it means to be selfish and if it should always be considered a harmful trait. I am making my body of work about my life but in extension the reality of being human as I understand that these experiences are neither my own nor new. Some of these experiences include ideas of religious trauma, inner child acknowledgment, feminism, the realities of being a young adult, and hardships that arise from those events. I encourage my viewers to see themselves in my pieces and be able to interact with them, not only intellectually but physically as well. This includes drawn and mutlti-media bugs that viewers will be encouraged to touch but also “squish” and ultimately destroy, as well as sculpted and molded gore that can be interacted with in similar ways. The bulk of my show will feature life-size charcoal drawings, some with multiple figures, that are pasted onto foam core that will either be attached directly to the wall or suspended in the gallery space off the wall by fishing line. I also attached other smaller prints along the walls for more intimate descriptions of the bugs featured in the large-scale drawings.This is also to encourage engagement and understanding with my audience.

Photo Credit

Photo Credit, Christine Cox, 2024




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