Moments of vulnerability and powerlessness generate a need to preserve. I collect dead insects and seek ways to memorialize the minuscule. I ruminate upon fragility and render these found specimens within a range of highly representative and enigmatic portraits. With meticulous detail, I instigate neural reactions and draw as an attempt to animate the forgotten; like recording invisibility, it allows me to translate hypersensitivity into visual evidence of perception. I use ink, graphite, raw pigments, dust, and silverpoint to conjure emergent forms, like storm clouds, that swell and grow; through these forms I reclaim a suppressed internal power, using line to define imperceptibility and validating the instinct to emote.
My work probes the psyche that is repulsed and simultaneously enchanted by insects; anxiety towards a once writhing arthropod is transformed by focusing on its minute particles and often overlooked features glistening hairs and spiny segments. I see the microscopic monsters that have come to symbolize malignance, yet visual dissection reveals temporal elegance and interconnectivity. Early scientific microphotography and astrophotography influence my drawings, so each handmade image often embodies forgotten mysteries. I return to drawing and painting as a way to address the sense of deep uncertainty and awe provoked by early scientific photography and to question the origin of authenticity within an image.
Amanda Quiroz received a BFA in painting and drawing from the California College of the Arts in 2010. Her work is currently included in 2012-2013 Civic Center Art Exhibition at the Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center in Berkeley, California. In 2011 she was an artist in residence at the Tamarind Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico; her work is also in the city of Albuquerques permanent collection. She is currently living and working in Berkeley, California with roots in Colorado and New Mexico.