Cindy Wagner

Artist's Statement

As a painter, photographer, and mixed media artist, I explore the universal quest of what mortality means and the disappearance of individuals over time and space. My work explores the world of the forgotten, the lost, and the disconnected. I’m very interested in investigating the relationship between past and present and the complex spiritual and supernatural nature of humanity.

The people in my work come from collected historic photographic materials. They have long been dead, and often have no identifying markers on the photographs: no names, no dates, and no connection to any living people. These individual come back to life and are seen again through mixed media installation pieces, large-scale oil paintings, and digital collages printed on metallic paper and paired with antique frames.

I’m drawn to original historic photographic materials, fabric, wax, electric light, and color to express my investigations in this area. I consider myself a visual narrator telling stories through several artistic mediums. The work often has elements of transparency, fading, distortion, and eeriness. These elements are an expression of the transitory nature of life and death.

My pieces tend to be large scale, sometimes larger than life, and this quality forces the viewer to take notice of these long forgotten individuals from the past. I invite the observer to reconsider the lives and likenesses of people who are no longer even memories. I’m not content to simply memorialize the dead, but I invite the viewer to connect with people lost to history and to question our own mortality and desire to be remembered.