On Tuesdays Heather Sherman takes a break from painting at her studio at NYU, where she is in grad school, and she and I grab a coffee and talk shit about people we grew up with. Heather and I are from the same small town. The town is so small that we usually run out of “hey, you know who I hear got knocked up and/or is in rehab” in about fifteen minutes. For that reason, we must move on and talk about less interesting things. Things such as art. Sometimes, if I’m lucky… I get to check out what she’s working on back in the studio. Have a look!
The above sketches illustrate where Heather is going with her concentration.
Below is the installation she had up for the most recent open studio at NYU.
Heather tells me the installation is about ritual, and the adult hood version of something she once did. Heather’s father is a doctor. As a child, she would read a forensic pathology book of his about the various ways a person can die. She says it was a post mortum handbook. Every way you can possibly die is in the book. Buried in the pharmaceutical bag is a tape recorder of Heather speaking on and off for nine hours while she lays in bed, waking up occasionally and recounting her dreams. The colored fluff spilling onto the floor from the bag is actually the hair skinned from the rabbits feet that are attached to the key chain that dangles above what appears to be wolves. The animals are in fact domesticated German Shepards from old slide photography she found from a family long gone. The dogs are metaphors for family.