Sarah Buchanan on Sarah Knobel

sarahknobel

Posted By: Sarah Buchanan, Senior, Psychology/ArtHistory

Not only is Sarah Knobel’s work aesthetically pleasing but also, personally, I find it to be incredibly relatable. In Knobel’s artist statement, she writes how her artwork “is a stage which demonstrates the search for individual identity within the programmatic social structures of popular culture” and how through her work she attempts to “define the thin line between cultural expectations and self expectations.”

Especially as a senior about to graduate, these concepts deeply resonate with me. So often people walk through life not the way they want to, but the way the media and society as a whole dictates. Get good grades, get into a prestigious college, pick a major that will make you money (preferably some branch of business or engineering), get a job, make money, brag to your friends about your monetary accomplishments, die. In fact, I recently read an article about the top ten most useless majors, a few of which included the fine arts, music, English, religious studies, and history. These were determined as the “worst” major through the terms of unemployment rates after college.

I was so off put by this article. Since when does not getting a job mean a major is useless? What if that subject inspires you? What if you truly enjoy learning, and would rather spend your life expanding your mind rather than obtaining a monotonous desk job? What if you value experiencing your life the way that makes you truly happy more than money and objects? Certainly these aspects must still hold some value in our society.

I certainly cannot be the only one that thinks this way. I have been searching for my individual identity in this programmatic social structure and, as depicted in Sarah’s work, I feel as though I am aimlessly floating in environment in which I don’t belong. There is no way in which I can achieve cultural expectations without neglecting my self-expectations in this society, and vice versa.

This is what I so enjoy about Sarah’s work.  Aside from the beauty of the pieces, her work gives you the feeling that you are not alone, and pushes you to question the status quo and these social stigmas so prominent in our society.

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