American artist Lauren Comito, who uses health and wellness packaging containers in her work, exhibits her latest creation in Jersey City (USA).
Lauren has been interested in using various types of packaging as subject matter for her creative process for many years. She collects and investigates packaging, trying to understand how the graphic design of the packaging effects the perception of a person at a conscious and subconscious level.
There is a special place in the artist’s collection occupied by packages from medications. Medicines for colds, eye drops, birth control, and anti-itch cream – the packaging of these ubiquitous drugs that can be found in any medicine cabinet have become a source of inspiration for the young artist.
Many popular medicines are easily recognizable on the shelves of pharmacies and immediately attract the attention of consumers, thanks to the design of the packaging. And it’s no accident. Marketers and designers carefully consider the visual elements used on packages. Their main task is to attract the buyer, to create a memorable visual image, as well as to invent a corporate style for the drug. In creating her work, Lauren tries to understand how these corporate visual and psychological prompts are reflected in our memory and affect the collective unconscious.
Experimenting with the visual elements of packages, the artist translates them into a world of symbols. She questions whether the consumer can determine a well-known brand if she modifies its familiar image; through scale, by hiding the inscriptions, transferring to new material, mirroring the images and repeating two, four, or eight times. Lauren uses many innovative traditional drawing and printmaking and digital techniques. For example, she repurposes packaging containers as printmaking plates, which are then used to print on Japanese paper in the style of collagraph and chine-collé printmaking. Or she creates collages from flattened packages, which she uses as a model to paint from.
Acting like a real censor, she covers almost all inscriptions with masking tape or carves them out – leaving only hints of the original. Then she digitalizes the image, prints on the fabric, repeating and mirroring the image several times to create wall tapestries, pillows and quilts. Her creations resonate with the artistic approach of the famous American artist, Andy Warhol – a representative of commercial pop art, who in his works used repetition of the image of Campbell soup cans and Coca Cola bottles. However, Warhol did not change the content of objects, Lauren moves the idea further, completely transforming the original.
Visitors to Lauren Comito’s exhibition in Jersey City perceived the work of the artist in different ways. Someone saw in them landscapes of cities, someone saw an abstraction with a beautiful combination of color and form, and someone saw resemblance to surreal paintings of René Magritte.
When the artist revealed the secret of the origin of her work, visitors began to recognize brands of drugs through basic visual prompts left by the artist. Interestingly, in the perception of foreigners, some images remained an abstraction, as they were not familiar with the drugs presented in local pharmacies.
Lauren Comito lives and works in Brooklyn. He has a master’s degree in Fine Arts in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design. She works in the field of digital art, drawing and painting. This year, her work was exhibited at Index Art Center in Newark, NJ and Custom Cabinets in Los Angeles, CA.
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