Amber Cobb's art is beautifully grotesque and we can't look away
Amber Cobb is a local sculptor, illustrator, and all around badass who abstracts reality as a method of talking about class, abjection, gender, the body, and dreams. She was lovely enough to tell us what's going on in her head, what's so attractive about shapelessness, and more about the color pink than you can shake a stick at. We're pink experts now.
What ideas are you trying to explore with your work? I explore ideas related to class, abjection, gender, the body, and dreams.
How do you want people to feel when they see your art? I want the viewer to feel attracted to the work yet disgusted. I am definitely interested in duality both through the materials I work with and the forms.
You play around a lot with shapelessness, or difficult-to-define shapes. What they are and why you choose to work with them? There are a lot of layers within the work and through the process of layering both the content and forms become a bit ambiguous. At times I choose to reveal and at times I chose to conceal the form. I do this both for the viewer and myself. I want to feel free to express fully yet I also want to protect my private thoughts and desires.
Your pencil strokes are very fine and delicate. Any reason for that? This is a direct reference to hair and the body.
How does your decision to use color influence the idea you're trying to explore? Is there a reason for the reds, purples, and yellows? The color I use most frequently is pink. The color pink references body parts and orifices in the body. I am also attracted to the psychology and duality of pink. Pink is often a color associated with little girls yet it is also associated with sexuality with woman. For example Victoria Secret has a Pink line of clothing and lingerie. Our bodies also have a reaction to the color pink. There was a time where prisons would paint the entire holding cells bubble gum and colleges would paint the visiting teams locker room the same color. When we are first exposed to the color we begin to calm down and our heart rate slows. However once we adapt to the pink room our heart rates will increase and that calmness is overtaken by anxiety. In one moment the color is relaxing and in the next it will drive you crazy.
How does your work in sculpture differ thematically from your drawings? Are you exploring different ideas? The drawings and sculptures coexist side by side. The sculptural work can be a bit intense both in the process and content while the drawings are more tender and meditative.
What is the most gratifying, and most challenging part of art for you? The most gratifying is the magic that happens while experimenting and pushing myself out of my comfort zone. The challenging part of art for me is writing about the work.
Is there a piece you're most proud of? I really am in love with “The Dreamer’s Dilemma”(The pink horse) and “As I Adapt” (the concrete mattress).
What's it like working in the Denver art scene? The Denver art scene is amazing. I love the acceptance of the community and the experimentation you see at the galleries.
What's something nobody knows about you? I’m not going to tell you anything ; )
Check out her website for more.