Carlton Scott Sturgill
Art By Carlton Scott Sturgill
Born in 1971 in Cincinnati, Ohio, Carlton Scott Sturgill received a BFA from the University of Cincinnati and MA from Chelsea College of Art in London, England. Inspired by the neighborhoods surrounding his hometown, his work examines shifting notions of privacy and sexuality within an increasingly brand-conscious society. Working with materials taken from the landscape of American suburbia, such as paint chip samples from Home Depot, clothing from the all-American company Ralph Lauren, and vintage objects sourced from antique stores in the heartland, his works scratch the surface of suburban pretense, exploring the compulsion to veil both our desires behind the facade of a commoditized version of the American Dream.
Carlton Scott Sturgill has exhibited in North America and Europe. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
I enjoy seeking out the hidden potential of everyday objects. Where other people see paint chip samples, I see colorful mosaics. My interest lies in seeking out and celebrating an object’s hidden side; the side that most people walk by without noticing, but once discovered they can never see the object in the same way. The same is true with people. Everyone has the side of themselves that they show to the outside world and a more cloistered private life that is only expressed in the most intimate of settings. Websites like Craigslist have given us a peek at what happens behind our friend’s and neighbor’s closed doors.
The imagery for my mosaics is appropriated from the “Casual Encounters” section of Craiglist, specifically the “MW4MW” section. I sourced the vintage “swing frames” from antique stores in the American heartland. Together they combine to make portraits of the secret lives of couples across the country looking to express their sexuality publicly while retaining their anonymity. This dichotomy between a person’s public persona and their private sexual lives is something that I find fascinating and is the focus of my studio practice.