Holly Fischer

My current work is inspired by the dangerous and alluring beauty of carnivorous plants and poisonous underwater creatures.  These seductive and deadly forms readily become metaphors for our culture’s inherent mistrust of female empowerment and common fears regarding gender fluidity.  My work explores the tension of binary restrictions that create an artificial separation between feminine and masculine qualities.  Sensual, undulating forms depict an ambiguous mix of anatomical features, alluding to the dynamic and perpetual act of becoming one’s gender.  I seek to embrace dualities through the morphing of seemingly incongruous attributes to form new identities that are at once familiar and strange, mysterious and beguiling. ​​​I hope that upon seeing this work, observers will have mixed feelings of apprehension and intrigue. The shiny pops of color and meticulous textural elements beckon a closer look, while spiny projections and visceral crevices and folds may make one second guess the initial desire to touch.  I hope this subtle tension between viewer and object will encourage observers to question the nature of their fears and desires and contemplate assumptions regarding beauty, gender, and sexuality.

Read this artist's biography

Holly Fischer was born in Missoula, Montana, the first child of creative and resourceful parents cultivating their personal forms of artistic expression as part of the back-to-the-land movement of the 70s. Growing up with a skilled woodworker as a father and an accomplished fiber artist as a mother provided Holly with the tools to foster her own creativity at a very young age. Art is a second language for Holly; it is a conduit for self-discovery and a means for processing and conveying internal conflicts arising from pressure to conform to gender norms and culturally standardized concepts of beauty. Holly is known for her abstracted figurative sculptures in white clay that celebrate voluptuous flesh. These works explore dualities inherent in femininity, encouraging a social engagement with sexual politics by questioning stereotypes and challenging the traditionally assumed structure of the gaze. ​Residing in Raleigh NC, Holly teaches at Meredith College where she is a passionate mentor and derives great joy from the opportunity to help emerging artists discover their own creative voice. Holly has a vigorous studio practice in which she actively investigates a variety of processes and materials, constantly seeking new ways to express her ideas.

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