damali ayo

i create dialogue-driven conceptual art that engages contemporary social issues through the media of assemblage installation, and performance. i reconceptualize everyday objects and cultural icons to create a shift in a viewer’s perspective on our world and their position within it.

my work is performative in its relentless desire to engage the audience and generate an audience reaction as an on-site companion piece. i explore social/political issues that permeate our culture and my everyday experience. the work is fully committed to engaging the aesthetic, even if it describes things we consider ugly.

on the other hand i am a junk artist. in our capitalist-driven society objects are given meaning by their purchasability. our social/political issues are junk, things we once bought (or bought into) and keep around because we are accustomed to their presence. and like the other junk i use in my work, i seek to reconceptualize these items and help us to examine their continued function in our lives.

i believe art should make people think and feel. i want to leave my audience pondering discomfort, confusion, anger, joy, sadness, emotions of all kinds. i am an honest manipulator, presenting contradictions and demanding response.


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experience art

damali ayo conceives web-art as performance, which she also creates for the stage and street. Her visual art has shown in Portland, Seattle, New York. Her work has been described as "boot-to-the-head blunt"and "archaeology of the present." She received a 2002 individual artist fellowship from the Oregon Arts Commission, and 2nd prize juror's award in Northwest Annual at the Center for Contemporary Art, Seattle (CoCA), 2002. The Oregonian recently named ayo "One of 12 Emerging Arts Players You Don't Know but Should."