Alyssa Coffin graduated from Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, Massachusetts, in the spring of 2014, where she received a BFA in illustration with a fine art emphasis and an independent study in creative writing. She spent a semester studying abroad in Ireland in her junior year to take some time to explore her work more independently. This past January, she spent a month in residency at the Vermont Studio Center. She currently is pursuing her studio practice in Providence, Rhode Island, at the arts organization AS220.
Her work lives in the tension between object and painting with the use of realism on a two-dimensional surface and the spatial confrontation of physical form. It explores the technical rendering of an illusion, in relationship to the idea-driven, history-laden surface of a tangible material. By converging these elements, the work speaks to the abstraction of thought and human experience through imagery that is universal and concrete. Metaphor is the drive behind their construction in hopes to both convey what is inarticulate and reveal what is unseen. Connections between these modes of consciousness and reality are inspired by psychology, mythology and theology.
Alyssa is interested in an exploration of objects that are representations of bodily form. Whether that metaphorical object is a book cover, an apple core, a drawer, or a tree, the work plays with revealing and concealing. This is accomplished through layering, breaking façades and altering perceptions. Many of her smaller works ultimately become installations. By creating an environment that arrests the viewers visually, her intention is to also confront the viewers with themselves by calling into question habitual narratives to resurrect what it means to be human.
Here are a few examples of her work.