My work is invested in the intersection of nature and culture and explores issues of gender, power, and complicity through the use of humor and kitsch. The work highlights trade-offs, both willing and coerced. Formally, it slips between two and three dimensions as it revels in the slippage between the real and the fictive. In Portrait of an Artist as a Dead Man, beneath the overwrought tissue paper wreaths and garlands, is a wry yet earnest, homage to deceased artist Mike Kelley. The cast foam rocks are lit with a perpetual flame of fan powered-tissue paper. The portrait of Kelley, both flat and illusionistically dimensional, suggests the artifice of our relationship to celebrity and in doing so, mocks the sentimentality of the piece itself. While in OUH HUO I have assumed the role of famous curator Hans Ulrich Obrist and intervened in his TED talk. The piece creates a parody of the use of TED to share ideas, while examining the opacity of arts speak, made even denser through the inaccurate YouTube subtitles. The accompanying “stills” correlate to scenes from the original talk reinterpreted and reimagined through the subtitles.

The self-conscious nature of kitsch creates a space for humor to expand the boundaries of serious consideration. I conflate the real with dimensionality and representation with the flat picture plane and often create a play between two-dimensional and three-dimensional elements in single works. I elaborate on untruths as I question cultural motives and meanings. My sculptures' awkward orb heads are made real with the artifice of airbrushed paint. Yet, much of my work is stilted, caught between spaces—not fully real yet not a culturally constructed fiction—the space in which art engages with, and occasionally trips over, reality.


Carrie Fonder is a mixed media sculptor whose practice focuses on hybrid works that often combine two and three dimensions and frequently include kinetic elements. Her culturally motivated pieces are both materially and conceptually driven. She earned her MFA in sculpture at the Cranbrook Academy of Art and her BFA in sculpture at Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. Fonder has exhibited her work both nationally and internationally. In 2010 she was awarded a Fulbright Nehru Fellowship to explore the influence of culture on gender identity via depiction of the feminine in India. Currently, she is a lecturer at the University of West Florida.

View Exhibition
Artist Website