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Élan Cadiz’s Artwork Brings a New Meaning to Family Portraits

Visual artist Élan Cadiz (MFA 2018 Fine Arts) brings about an intriguing set of multimedia collage works with her new series, “An American Family Album.” Although sticking to the theme of family portraits, Cadiz diverges from the norm by reimagining her kin as furniture—specifically, chairs. “I’m not fond of traditional portraiture because I don’t like faces staring at me on my wall—it’s very upsetting,” Cadiz says in a new Vogue article about her work. “So I started to think about objects, and chairs just stuck out to me.”

Using old fabrics from dresses, tablecloths, curtains and scarves, Cadiz plays around with various materials and colors to create a multitude of richly textured surfaces that personify the specific family member being portrayed. To Cadiz's eye, a chair in its natural form can easily be humanized. “They have backs, they have legs, they have arms—and I thought it fascinating how they also hold us, and can represent us,” she says. “I remember my grandfather having a chair that he always sat in, and that was my grandfather’s chair. It’s aesthetic…and it carries this character.”

Vogue goes further in depth with Cadiz about other home décor she would like to anthropomorphize, and more. For the full story and more images, click here.

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