I make work about shelter and the apocalypse for the ways these concepts summon ideas of protection, destruction, and power struggles.

My practice is focused around two-dimensional painting but incorporates a variety of interpretive painting methods, from the construction of casket-like structures of canvas, to wooden armatures strewn with paint skins reminiscent of the body but heavily abstracted and damaged. The confrontational nature of this work is echoed through material manipulation (the stapling, ripping, and suturing of paint and fabric) which serves as a reference to destruction and the necessary defenses which destruction calls for.

I feel the strength of my work lies in the way it draws attention to notions of scarcity, disparity, and provisional means of balance. I think people generally identify with artwork when it addresses their anxieties, perhaps offering a moment of solace or commiseration. Particularly through the unassuming titles I assign to my pieces (monolith; Shack; Ward; etc.), interpretation is intentionally left open as a means to let the viewer find their own entrypoint—a mystical quality of abstraction. The work tries to acknowledge existential ills then offers up glimpses of optimism. It’s essential for me to give some respite from the doom.

Updated Dec 2018

Interview with Anna Toptchi at SVAD UofSC: