Location: United States
Cheryl Molnar is a collage and multimedia artist based in New York City. In 2000, Cheryl received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design; she received a Masters in Fine Arts from Pratt Institute in 2005. Cheryl’s work has been exhibited in galleries including Carren Golden Fine Art in New York and White Walls in San Francisco. Cheryl has been awarded residencies at the Weir Farm Art Center in Wilton, CT, and at The Cooper Union in New York, NY.
Raised in Long Island, NY, I studied how man-made housing developments permanently altered the natural landscape, taking note of the ubiquity of ranch houses, inorganic structure of neighborhoods and disregard for history. Upon moving to the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn, I’ve witnessed the same trends emerge as the neighborhood gentrifies.
My work explores this incongruity through various media including collage, installations and interactive pieces.
The serene landscapes of my work are created though collaging strips of oil-stained paper onto natural birch panels. Tracts of ranch houses and other modern, architectural structures are carved directly into the wood and then stained with oil. This process creates permanent incisions into the panel itself. The juxtaposition of these two opposing forms and processes symbolize my exploration of the American Dream as it has evolved from my parents’ generation through mine.
The ranch house – the house I grew up in – represents the American “Baby Boomer” generation’s desire to own property and lead a traditional life in a suburban, familiar environment. Growing up here, I recognized that, in the name of stability, any deviations from the social norms were unaccepted – preventing people from expressing their individuality. People had to sacrifice desires to fit into the mold of the American Dream.
The landscapes in this work are presented with the same irony as the idyllic American Dream of my parents. Attracted to its beauty and breathtaking scenery, communities flocked to these landscapes, littering them and ruining the features that attracted them.