Carson Vandermade

Each Dream I’ve Had This Season, 2021
Mixed Media on Bed Sheet (95” x 80”)

Travel Pillow, 2021
Mixed Media on Pillow Case (40” x 40”)

Replacement Travel Pillow, 2021
Mixed Media on Pillow Case (40” x 40”)

Oily Linen, 2021
Mixed Media on Pillow Case (40” x 36”)

I’ve Wet TheBed Every Day This Week, 2021
Mixed Media on Bed Sheet (39” x 80”)

Nighttime Pantyhose, 2021
Gesso and Nylon

Stuffed Carcass, 2021
Gesso and Nylon


This body of work is a documentational survey of my time spent in the studio over the past few months. When I enter my studio space, I think of my time as being intentionally recorded in the marks on my pieces of art. And when I look at my finished pieces, I recognize the amount of time that I spent with the piece as a summation of marks that took a fraction of time to exact. My art is evidence that I existed and produced; as well as an alibi for where I was while I was making the work.

I think that the process of consuming and producing, whether intentionally or idly is natural and inevitable, no matter what a person is doing. Even in the most passive, unintentional, and idle times of my day, there is evidence, no matter how hard to trace, that I am living. Even when I sleep, I am consuming by way of digesting and breathing; and I am producing by way of secreting oils and dreaming. My paintings on bed linens are an attempt to focus on the inevitability that humans will leave a mark while they live.

While working on this body of work, a narrative also began to emerge surrounding my relationship with the manufactured world. A question that is important to me is “How is sentiment produced? And how does time spent with an object change a person’s relationship with it?” I am a very sentimental person when it comes to my things. I do not have many things, but the tokens I do choose to carry around with me become very important to me, because we have lived a part of my life together. Both my paintings and my sculptural work investigate this phenomenon. By recontextualizing mass produced objects like bed sheets and nylons, they have a significance separate from their intended purpose and separate from their many identical counterparts.

Whether my work is approached as objects symbolizing a human’s tendency to consume and produce, or approached as objects investigating the building of sentiment, they will always be artifacts made unique by a concerted agency on my behalf. Before, these objects were blank; and now, after time has been spent in their company, they have meaning.