“I AM IN THE BUSINESS OF PRODUCING THINGS THAT PEOPLE DON’T NEED TO HAVE”
Devon Weist is a sculptor and installation artist that creates work reflecting ideas of body image, gender stereotypes, and identity politics. Devon is a Chicago native and graduated from the American Academy of Art with a BFA in Oil Painting. She is mostly known for sculptures that incorporate uncomfortable depictions of body parts, while occasionally including interactive or mechanical features. When not working on her personal art, she is a freelance designer for political campaign materials. Devon has also illustrated a children’s book for a former Illinois legislator, and has worked on other children’s books for personal projects. Currently, Devon is pursuing internship opportunities with plans to attend graduate school in the Fall of 2022.
In the age of technology, the general population is exposed to an abundance of information that influences our lives heavily. We are constantly shifting our ideas of normality, and unquestionably accept its impact on our everyday lives. Creating a series of sculptures and installations that explore ideas of body image, gender stereotypes, and social identity politics- I am inspired by these ideas of normality and social expectations.
Relying on a delicate balance between quirkiness and craftsmanship, a majority of my sculptures imitate exaggerated features of the human body. Automation and amateur engineering are occasionally used to create an interactive experience for the audience, and other pieces are stationary and meant as view-only.
While classified as contemporary art, I use traditional techniques and baroque-style qualities as both an homage to my classical training and as a present day take on my definition of fine art. Unsettling traits, such as excessive hair and long red fingernails, coupled with traditional aspects create a juxtaposition of beauty and grotesqueness. The confrontational nature of the work underlines a general critique of society itself. Ultimately, I want viewers to question what is wrong, what is right and what is normal.