Artist Statement
I make art about the things that scare me most. These topics include isolation, depression, xenophobia, misogyny, cruelty and violence. The luxury of being able to respond to my environment comes from a sense of cultural isolation that seemed to begin when I realized that I could not find myself on television anymore. Having spent my entire childhood learning behavior from television, my lack of identification with this medium was initially rather disconcerting.
I use the mediums of animation, video, installation, and performance as a way of putting myself back on the screen. The protagonists in my work such as an animated character, a live performer, or even the viewer, find themselves in chaotic and sometimes violent spaces. These spaces are loaded with diverse references. Some codes are familiar and accessible while others are deeply personal and obscure. The references come from my eclectic interests in areas such as ancient mythology, Judaic culture, feminist theory, art history, popular culture, and social justice.
Humour is used as a strategy to provide the viewer with a safe distance from the toxic elements that I am desperately trying to understand. This distance allows us both to safely probe into complex issues of identity and its construction within the sociological realm. In doing so, we can realize our capacity for change.
Evan Tapper was born in Winnipeg on a bright sunny morning in May. Mrs. Mendelson, Evan's kindergarten teacher, was quick to recognize his talent. Although it caused a great deal of tension and jealousy among the other 5-year-olds, Mrs. Mendleson called Evan "her little artist". Evan's academic achievements continued as he graduated with a BFA Honours from the School of Art, University of Manitoba and a MFA from the School of Art, Carnegie Mellon University.
His multimedia work has been exhibited throughout Canada, the United States, Europe, South America, the Middle East, Australia and Asia. Recent residencies include the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, the Center for Contemporary Art Kitakyushu Japan, and Charles Street Video. He has received grants and awards from such organizations as the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, New York State Council on the Arts, the Manitoba Arts Council, and the Toronto Arts Council.
Evan has held academic appointments at the State University of New York Fredonia, McMaster University, the Ontario College of Art and Design University, and the University of Toronto.
Do you want to contact Evan? Sure you do.
Email him at mail (at) evantapper (dot) net.