Caroline Alfonso is a multidisciplinary artist born and raised in the Los Angeles Valley. Her work in photography, performance, and craft all aid in an exploration of loss, memory, and their construction of the human experience. Through her work she aims to place an emphasis on play and perceptiveness, juxtaposing vulnerability with idiocy in an attempt to give these overwhelming feelings space to fucking cool it. Her practice is constantly changing as she follows new leads and is met with more questions. Some of her current interests include; quilting, taoism, Marx’s theory of materialism, Cedar Sinai Medical Center’s 1999 placenta disposal procedures, and the art of clowning.
My work is where my secrets are. It's the place where my thoughts can take shape and space without hurting too much. My practice alleviates the pressures of living, offering a type of escapism that helps organize my thoughts and experiences in a more palatable way. Even so, I tend to get stuck in the similarities between absurdity and reality. I have difficulty differentiating between what is real and what is constructed and whether or not these classifications matter. This inner monologue is the driving force of my work and it relies very heavily on the questions that don't have answers. Heartbreak and humor become close confidants as I try to make sense of myself and my surroundings through my photographs and performances.
My pre-existing inability to communicate grew exponentially since spending 2020 grieving and sheltering in place. Tin Can telephones reminded me of simpler, less serious times in which misunderstandings were part of the game. This image of childhood play distorted in both the image and the act itself–using tin can telephones is one way to alleviate the pressure of clear and concise communication.
The 2021 Irwin Scholars are Abby McPhillips, Caroline Alfonso, Cassidy Skillman, Chloe Calhoun, Connor Alexander, Kalen Meeks, Klytie Xu, Louisa Balderas, Lucinda Gold, Saul Villegas, Sydney Geisinger, and Zoe Forsyth.