Date of Award

Spring 6-1-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



First Advisor

Kevin Zucker

Second Advisor

Angela Dufresne

Third Advisor

Jackie Gendel


In my thesis paintings, abstracted bodies collide with sticky shapes and residues in otherworldly spaces to form a queer, diasporic mythology. Bodies are slick, crusty, diaphanous, partial, chunky, other—they vary in legibility, suspended in emergence and expulsion from the environment. Multiple selves make these works. One asks sensorial questions of painting: what feelings, memories, and experiences can I transmit through color and material? I embed the smell of marigolds, the swi!t temperature change of the California desert, or the thick haze of a three a.m. dance floor make-out. My trusting self follows visions of color and shape, believing that they reveal my ancestry and life experience. At times I search for the painting through my body: I press, rub, and scratch, my actions becoming formevents. Still a fourth self renders and excavates the mythic bodily forms, made not born, who dive through, push, and hold up the paintings.

I am dealing in murky exchanges between figuration and abstraction, flatness and depth, intuition and invention. Right now, I digest these back-and-forths by thinking of works as relational. Like bits of code, they inform one another. They are each free to answer a different question–or different parts of the same question. This thesis is, similarly, structured as a partial decoding, which creates a cross-pollinating map of recent work in the context of influential texts and artists.


View exhibition online: Aparna Sarkar, Dive

Included in

Painting Commons



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