II'm interested in memory and how people process their memories. I think about my own past and the people who have influenced me from the beginning of my life. Great school teachers, close friends and even not so close friends. But memories fade, even the most important ones.
I was the head mental health counselor of a locked psychiatric unit in Boston where I was responsible for hundreds of patients. I had a realization during that job that the incredible untold stories of those unknown lives were going to be buried in that institution and so as an artist I felt compelled to preserve those stories. When I come across a familiar song or a scent in my everyday life those memories are triggered and I remember the importance of those people from my past.
And so I re-created that experience in my interactive installation. I place a portrait of my subject, which are painted on wood, in a plexiglass case filled with seawater that will dissolve the portrait over a lengthy period of time. Attached to the plexiglass case is a small box filled with a scent representative of the subject such as juicy fruit gum, musty books, tobacco, or old leather from a motorcycle jacket. Also attached is an iPod filled with music or an interview that is the soundtrack to this person’s life..
As in real life our visual memories of even the most important people from our past fade, my portraits also disappear. We are left with only the scents and sounds which serve as powerful memory triggers to remind us of that person’s existence and influence.
When we come across those senses in the real world we are transported into that specific memory bringing that person back to life even for just a moment. It's essentially a homage building a connection to the past. There’s importance in never forgetting.
MVVO AD ART SHOW AT SOTHEBY'S NYC
For three years in a row the innovative Maria Van Vlodrop, has created dynamic group art shows. The first took place in the legendary Sotheby's with an incredible opening and the second and third took place on the 2000 plus digital LinkNYC displays all over Manhattan as well as on the digital displays in the Santiago Calatrava designed Oculus at the World Trade Center. The first of it's kind.
Title: John Trudell In The Redwoods
Materials: RedWood. Oil Paint.
Installations X 3