Langdon Graves
New York, NY


Artist’s Statement

I’m interested in the relationship of belief and the body.  In my drawings, I’ve been pushing the powers of the mind over the physical to the point of inducing anatomical transformation and disfiguration, taking into account that one’s system of belief is not exclusively internal but influenced by social and cultural circumstances.  The female figures in the drawings are suspended in bizarre revelatory episodes laced with symbolism from ancient folk traditions, mysticism and various world religions.  Historically, women have played an integral role in the facilitation of the beliefs of a given culture or society and often bear the burden of its expectations, such as those associated with the rites of passage of marriage and childbirth.  The subjects in the drawings wear their beliefs like prostheses that generate both curative and poisonous effects.  

My sculptures bring together familiar materials and elements that suggest domestic, medical or religious use, but are composed in ways that confuse and deny interaction.  Designed to be believed rather than used, they function as placebo; the degree to which one may be convinced of their efficacy ultimately determines their influence.  The work on the whole seeks to reveal that a reality constructed by our beliefs and one determined by actual events are one and the same.  

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