By Jesus Figueroa
Visitors at the Vincent Price Art Museum enjoy a reminiscent experience at Carmen Argote’s “720 sqft: Shape Seeps Through” exhibit. VPAM’s large gallery displays the carpet from the childhood home that Argote grew up on for about 22 years.
The carpet is painted with white paint 12 inches from the perimeter.
“I started painting the carpet and then noticed the stains seeping through. It’s almost like a history of the house,” Argote said.
The walls surrounding the 720 sqft. carpet are formed to simulate the perimeter of the carpet. Along the walls are pictures of what each of the walls looked like in the apartment.
“Taking the pictures started off as documentation of the process,” Argote said.
The pictures help tell the story of the house as they started to take on a style of their own. Argote wanted pictures of corners and where the carpet met the wall.
“Two years ago I had a two part show. There was a show in the actual site, the actual apartment that I grew up in.
“This installation kind of shows you the shape of the place I grew up in,” Argote said.
Argote began to notice that all the apartments she would inhabit after she moved out would begin to produce the same shape. She said she would get these large spaces and begin to place the furniture to try and replicate that apartment she lived in as a child.
“I wanted to investigate that shape and how it’s influenced my life, (it’s) how I see home,” Argote said.
The connection that Argote has for this piece is very personal and she said she hopes that people who come see it feel a connection to it as well.
Argote did not know she was going to pursue art until her college years but growing up she and her mother would do arts and crafts. Although Argote was never discouraged to be an artist she was asked if art was the right choice for her.
“I try to integrate my artwork into my life as much as I can. Even when I go for drives, I keep my eyes open for details that I would want to use in artwork,” Argote said.
Carmen Argote “720 sqft.: Shape Seeps Through” opened June 8 and runs through July 26 in the large gallery at the Vincent Price Art Museum. The museum is free to visit and open to everyone.