Artist StatementWorking in layers of acrylic, enamel and oil paints, fabric, beeswax, tape, glitter, shellac, and epoxy resin, I create frenzied levels of color, investigating shape and color relationships. I am exploring chaos and control; taping sections to limit paint flow and then letting it drip. I have an obsession with layers –literal and figurative in painting. I like to think that the paintings bring a feeling of 80’s isometric video games while referencing Islamic art, OpArt, quilting, Folk Art, Hardedge painting, Lisa Frank, Nail Art, and general surface pattern design. I am also enormously influenced by my own emotions and I allow what is happening in my personal life to direct what happens in my studio. My beloved mother’s yearslong battle with two stage four cancers and her recent passing have profoundly impacted not only the way the I work, but also the way in which I approach my daily life. Mom was a talented sewer, quilter, and craftswoman and in my own way, with the painted panels, I am finding a way to “quilt” and “stitch” my paintings together to create finished “sewn” pieces. The works are titled with traditional American quilt pattern names. I feel that my works, and the entire artmaking process, are incredibly personal, religious experiences for me, and I plan to leave the world having filled it with an obsessive level of vibrant color and energy.
Emily Claire Dierkes was born in New York City in 1984. She received her BFA in painting from Syracuse University in 2006, receiving the Hiram Gee Senior Painting Award and graduating Magna Cum Laude. She spent her junior year at Syracuse's campus in Florence, focusing on art history and antique painting techniques. In Spring 2011, she received a Kempinski Arts Support Fellowship and was artist in residence at the Baltschug Kempinski Hotel in city center Moscow. She has shown in galleries in Baltimore, Maryland; Syracuse, New York; Florence, Italy; and Moscow, Russia. She currently lives and works in Baltimore, Maryland, her hometown since 1989 where she teaches high school art and is receiving her MFA from Towson University.