Tess Moss


Welsh, LA

Artist Statement


Balance (Lean on Your Unit)


My art making relies heavy on my perception of reality and the internal workings of my own emotions and response mechanisms. I have learned over time, that my spirit cries to be expressed upon canvas and that art making is my most reliable mode of therapy. When I feel for someone, I depict them. When I have a feeling, it becomes a visual guide through the work of my tools. My art recalls my friends and my family units, including the support and the lessons that they have provided. My senior show is defined by the duality found within stability and instability. I convey the constant back and forth found within everyday life, relationships, memories, and actions.


There are three key emotions I bring to focus which are each a part of the cycle of ups and downs; the first emotion is loneliness, the feeling that wants to bring you close to others, as our psyches rely on relationships. The second emotion I highlight is the warmth that is brought out when the yearning for compatibility is fulfilled, whether that be by mode of creation, a healthy distraction, or a close relationship. The third and the most important emotion I reflect on, is dissociation and the feeling of letting the self just go. Each emotion is represented in abstracted spaces using color and composition building methods. The large works that I show are a mind cloud where feelings can thrive within analogous color and organic movement. Each of these feelings that I express in the abstracted works make their way symbolically to portraits of the matriarchs in my family.


The cohesive tie in my show is the portrait of my mother wearing a shawl that includes the colors of emotions found in my abstracted works. My mother gave me my existence, showed me how to reflect, and lived through her own trials. She is my symbol of stability and a concrete pillar in my life. She wears this shawl of feeling as if it weighs nothing, still emoting with her unbreaking smile. I include a portrait of my grandmothers well worked hands wearing a watch and a ring, each item being symbolic of family, and the time spent holding on to oneself. So, while these abstractions take on a form of self-portraiture and the portraits are of members of my family, I want others to relate wholeheartedly to my ideas and emotions. While each emotion is conveyed in ways that are unique to my own experience, I have hope that my works allow others to elicit their own narratives, thus creating a safe place for individuals to feel their own effects of stability and instability.

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