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Tilt Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona
Recommendation by Deborah Ross

Casebeer writes snippets of overheard conversations on her arm with a Sharpie, later translating these into a compelling "Sentence Camera."


Continuing through April 30, 2013


For Phoenix-based artist Casebeer, the basis of her work is snippets of dialogue. To that end, she constantly uses a Sharpie and her bare arm to write down overheard conversations. “I feel naked and unhinged when my arm is sentence-less,” she says.


Casebeer’s resulting mixed media pieces bear a remarkable power to engage viewers. For “The Sentence Camera” she essentially photographed her arm every day for five years to document short sentences and phrases, then selected hundreds of them to record on white butcher paper in cursive or block letters, enough to stretch across a 20-foot wall. Viewers immediately lock on to words that they themselves might have overheard or said, or to phrasings that are amusing non-sequiturs: “Just lying here thinking of Barry Goldwater.” “In an attempt to justify my existence.” “Mistakes were made.” The ribald is recorded as well: “Sex, as performed by cupcakes.” Casebeer’s keen ear underscores the human propensity to say the most curious things.


Verbal snippets also appear in Casebeer’s other pieces, such as “we had this dust come over us,” in which a few handwritten phrases and torn pieces of newspaper are joined in a composition that includes two Casebeer motifs: a mournful face that is closely cropped around the eyes and a set of wings. In this and other works, in which she creates a textured panel of thick paint swaths, smudges and drips, Casebeer seems to be veering into a deeper analysis of how random words can channel our emotions.

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