Rachel Cuyler’s “Viscosity” Rises at Sunset Art Series
Meet Rachel Cuyler, a featured artist in the second volume of Hooligan’s Sunset Art Series, which celebrates the art of our clients and peers outside of their work in advertising and branded content.
The paintings Rachel displayed at our recent show are excerpts from her three-part Viscosity series, which explores the organic development and deconstruction of identity through internal and external tensions.
In her artist statement, Rachel explains that part one of Viscosity wrestles with the origins of our sense of self, specifically how we perceive and anticipate this concept; and part two of the series, ‘Alpha&Omega,’ takes a closer look at the boundaries of these forms from two sides, representing the influence of our relationships on self-awareness.
“The way we define ourselves is based on a complex set of layers,” Rachel says. “These layers are fluid and viscous, constantly changing based on our reactions to the world around us. It is through the reordering of these layers (our value hierarchy) that we develop and deconstruct our sense of self."
The process of her work takes on this concept of identity: a self-developed system of poured layers. Each layer directly informs the creation of the subsequent layers, allowing the form, color and composition of each piece to evolve significantly throughout the process. She says this process is the fundamental concept of her work and informs the course each piece takes.
A Senior Art Director at global marketing agency VML, Rachel has created campaigns for Jack Daniel’s, Hershey, Reese’s, Land Rover, Dell, Valvoline, Braun, and more. Just as many other creatives in the industry who juggle personal and commercial art, Rachel says this experience has solidified her habit of creating daily.
"Thinking more critically about my work in the office allows me to be more open and fluid in the studio, and vice versa,” she says.
When asked which artists influence her work, Rachel points to a seemingly disparate pair of art icons: Rauschenberg and Dali.
“On a surface level, it might not make sense, but I say Rauschenberg for the complexity of his layering and the attuned nature of his work to creating commentary on both his own actions as an artist and the world around him; and the works of Dali, whom I’ve always been drawn to for how directly he draws into question our sense of perception. Like him, I think of this as fluid concept, particularly when it comes to our assessment of ourselves.”