New York-based artist Julie Peppito’s new series, “Connected”, was inspired by the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy on her city. Exploring the effects of climate change and extreme weather, some of the eclectic collages are actually individual portraits of different sitters, and are based on their personal possessions. Through this exploration of material objects, Peppito seeks to draw a relationship between people and their things, while also keeping in mind the very real problem of climate change.
With the portraits from “Connected,” Peppito began to describe her sitters by their things, separating what they consider their most cherished possessions from what they defined as trash. With the creation of each portrait, the artist draws parallels between value and objects, as well as placing meaning and history into these trinkets and baubles.
Keeping the victims of Hurricane Sandy in mind, Peppito created a controlled chaos with each sitter’s things, building a mesh that renders the objects in a different context from the owner’s original intention. Much like the debris that was left of the homes that were destroyed in Sandy, the colorful multi-media collages clump the pieces into piles, transforming them from treasure to junk to art.
Through her work, Peppito hopes to illustrate that the owners’ connection to these items are not only to the actual materials, but also to the memories that they represent. Along with this attachment to material objects, Peppito’s portraits also evoke the effects of climate change, and the increase of super storms that have occurred. Peppito has donated 10% of the sales of each of her portraits to Hurricane Sandy relief.