Viewpoint is a series in which The Bottom Line asks a practicing artist to respond to five questions.
Diana Jean Puglisi is currently an MFA candidate at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She received a Post-Baccalaureate from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and her BFA from William Paterson University. At VCU Arts, Puglisi became interdisciplinary in her practice, branching painting into new media, performance, sculpture, and video. In 2013, she traveled to India as the Production Manager of Blue Like Me: The Art of Siona Benjamin. Puglisi’s work is in the collection of William Paterson University. Recently, she has exhibited at OffLine Central Booking Gallery in New York City and the 26th Annual MassArt Auction in Boston. She was selected to be a featured artist in Vellum Art Magazine‘s June 2015 issue
How does drawing factor into your work?
I draw with the burning light of a laser cutter. I start the laser cutter and dictate where it will begin and end. I stop it throughout the process and manipulate the file, shifting the material to gain more control. These works are dyed and repetitively burned, making lace-like shapes into interfacing (a material used to stiffen clothing). They look moth-eaten and are dyed the colors of our interiors or dried blood. Depth is created by the value shifting, acting similar to ink. The cuts are the drawing lines, defining space in their size and the way they are positioned on the material. I think of the interfacing metaphorically—as the tissue of the body.
What or who inspires your work?
My work started as an investigation of losing our minds, specifically through Alzheimer’s disease, and has evolved into the relationship this has to our bodies, particularly the female body. The materials I am using such as window screen, interfacing, and thread are chosen because of their associations with the domestic.
Currently, the works of Eva Hesse, Anne Wilson, Janine Antoni, Lisa Sigal, and Ann Hamilton, and writings by Emily Dickinson and Oliver Sacks inform my work.
What have been your favorite projects to work on?
My current project, I would say, is my favorite at the moment. I am taking the dyed interfacing and transitioning it to the size of our bodies. These pieces are being installed adjacent to a dress’ missing parts, which are made of painted window screen.
When not working on your art, what do you like to do?
I am always working on making, but when I am not, I find myself going out to look at art. I read constantly, love to bake and cook, and writing is becoming a large part of my life.
What is the last book you read or film you saw?
I am currently reading Anne Truitt’s Turn: The Journal of an Artist. Lately, I am on this voyage of reading writings that have been written by other visual artists. Some of the other pieces I have read are Truisms by Jenny Holzer, Grandma’s Story by Trinh T. Minh-ha, and Ann Hamilton’s poetry. The last film I watched was Miss Representation by Jennifer Siebel Newsom and Kimberlee Acquaro. The documentary is about how women are portrayed in the media and the limited powerful positions they hold in America—everyone should watch it.