Victoria May, Unilateral Indecision, 2021, Found fabrics, velveteen, thread (Detail)


Victoria May’s work is rooted in the physicality of the materials of her fabric constructions: they are recognizable — and sometimes surprising — detritus and surplus from everyday life. She organizes bits of found material into compositions suggesting a painted canvas. The addition of tactility and associations of worn and discarded textiles add a level of visual engagement. Victoria’s process is incremental, evident in the surface gradation of the denim manipulated through piecing and stitching as the artist transforms repurposed clothing into personal poetic expressions. The artist comments: “Through both humorously crude and painstakingly delicate handwork, I welcome the random element that exposes the absurdity, beauty, and vulnerability in our well-intended machinations.”

Victoria May is a first generation American, raised by resourceful German immigrant parents. She learned to sew at the age of 10 and has never stopped. After attending UCLA and receiving a BA in Design, one of her first real jobs was making custom wedding gowns. After switching to jobs in graphic design and publishing, she went on to earn an MFA from San Jose State University where she figured out how to use textile construction methods to create mixed-media sculpture and installation that address the tenderness and absurdity in the human condition.

Her work has since been exhibited at the Monterey Museum of Art, the Minnesota Street Project, the Headlands Center for the Arts, the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, the Maloof Foundation, the Craft Contemporary, and at Quotidian and other LA galleries. She has had residencies at Jentel Arts in Wyoming, Kala in Berkeley, and the Lucid Art Foundation in Inverness, CA. She received a Santa Cruz County Rydell Fellowship and was named a Silicon Valley Artist Laureate. May exhibits nationally and internationally and has been represented by Conrad Wilde Gallery in Tucson, AZ and Don Soker in San Francisco. Recently, she and a collaborator were short-listed for the Australian Print Triennial.

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