Tara Donavan is an artist from Brooklyn that my drawing teacher, Kara Andree, introduced me to. Tara is most known for her works that make wild and intense landscapes and forms from everyday objects like drinking straws, plastic cups, or even clothes buttons. Her primary focus is in installation and transforming space.
She began her studies at the College of Visual Arts in New York but ultimately earned her BFA at Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington DC in 1991. She then went on to get her MFA at the Virginia Commonwealth University in 1999, but was sadly stuck working as a waiter until 2003 when her first solo show in New York ended up becoming a huge success.
While the work seems to create new landscapes, Tara said that her work is more mimicking it rather than trying to recreate it in the spaces she occupies. Her work is often not really designed first then constructed, but rather, she let’s the building material dictate what is created when she goes to “build”.
Viewing these works, I always seem to forget how each is built with such common materials. The way she uses them to play with light and interact with each other and the space around it is what sets her apart from most other people who would attempt this kind of work. Being able to forget the building material entirely when it’s very obviously in front of you is the result of this work and it amazes me every time I look at it.