Photo shot by Michael McWeeney

Emily Perina

I am a Staten Island artist, born and raised, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Purchase College, specializing in sculpture. I now work as the Director of Operations at MakerSpace NYC.

My work is a combination of carefully considered materials constructed to exemplify personal feelings and emotions. It centers on my own experiences with people and my surroundings, generally tending to be uncomfortable and unpleasant. There are also oddly cute components that add an even more unsettling vibe to the work as a whole. I have a fascination for these ideas being forcefully combined to properly portray my feelings of dissatisfaction and anxieties.

Animals are very important to my visions and remain constant in my work. Whether just the fur or even the entire animal figure, I think it is important to my pieces. I have always been fascinated by animals and their behaviors. They possess purely raw instinct that they do not feel ashamed about. I feel this is an interesting contrast to the way I feel about the emotions I am attempting to deliver within my works.

Recently, I have also been exploring my sexuality, feelings both addressed and unaddressed. I have been re-examining what has been taught to me when I was younger versus behaviors I have now as a young adult. Using discarded lingerie, from different times in my life, I combine it with other found objects and contrasting materials to convey anxieties and sarcasm.

Additionally, by using a variety of textures and materials, I strive to break the traditional barriers created by galleries, and I encourage viewers to touch and interact with my wall sculptures.