Good art can envelope viewers in an idea or emotion, and Michelle Carollo takes this to the hilt by making works that are environments. Her installations have a thrust—being participatory or contemplative or, at minimum, setting a tone for a public space.
Her art is the offspring of pop and graffiti, but Carollo doesn’t limit herself to the usual motifs of these sensibilities. She’s exploring ways of integrating nature into the work, and also excitement (think Batman “boom!” “pow!” and “wham!”). Hence her SPARKBOOM concept acts as both her medium and her motivation. For an installation she did in cooperation with El Museo, “they really wanted to get the general public to be immersed in a piece of art. So they asked me to construct a stairwell space, about 50ft total in height… The idea was that [visitors] would be blasted into this painting… What does it feel like to be in an abstract painting?”
“The fun thing about being an installation artist is there’s always something you didn’t plan for.”
She’s not looking to push cultural or social signifiers, instead she’s looking to create doors to step through. “The word ‘fun’ is kind of this dirty word… I don’t think there’s anything wrong with [being fun]… You can speak about things in a smart way, and it doesn’t always have to be so blatant. Like comic books, there’s so many important things being said, but it wasn’t always right in your face. It could have been done in a very colorful, fun way where the message still came across. Fun is a big thing for me.” Carollo is fascinated with the shapes of art deco, mod futurism and working with bold colors. She’s drawn to art and design from the 20s to the 60s and being able to reinvent those styles with a contemporary application to create “a vibration of optics.” Ultimately, she’s just trying to make our days a little better. “I’m not so interested in making these grand political statements…I’m more interested in creating a sense of beauty…capturing energy, the excitement, the idea of fun, of contemporary movement and culture.”
See more at michellecarollo.com.