Austen Loftus is a Reno-based artist working primarily in acrylic and ceramics. They make abstract work that represents their complicated relationship with society. Being queer and fat in society has created a strain on Loftus’s optimism, and she strives to create that feeling in their artwork. Loftus working toward an Associate of Arts Degree in Fine Arts at Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC). They have showcased art in the Truckee Meadows Community College Galleries and Artemisia Studios Gallery. Loftus was awarded first place for her ceramics in the 2022 TMCC Annual Student Art and Design Exhibition.
I make artwork that takes color over the top. I want the work to be hard to look at, full of over-saturated, neon colors. I use the word “toothache” to describe the work. Like a sweet, I can be too much for some people, tending to leave them with a pain in the mouth. I want to represent the ways I don’t fit. I am a fat, mentally ill, neurodivergent lesbian. I choose bright pinks and oranges to represent the extreme femininity I embody. Throughout my work I use irregular ellipses which are meant to be creatures in the liminal space within my pieces. Hidden and obscured in my painting are quotes, lyrics from songs, and other writing that I want the viewer to discover. These works are meant to be a puzzle, hopefully you will be able to find something new in them each time you look at them. There is a depth to them the same way there is depth to me.
This body of work is meant to represent the messiness of life and the beauty in things being imperfect. There is nothing wrong with me, even if I am very divisive as a person and not everyone likes me. My artworks are not meant to be tragic or a pity party, but instead, they are meant to call attention to the type of person I am and how it feels to be in this space between love and hatred.