Date of Award

Spring 3-27-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



First Advisor

David Amico

Second Advisor

Rachel Lachowicz

Third Advisor

Michael Reafsnyder

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2012 Travis Novak


Flawed memory is a tool that allows an altered reality to exist in the disconnect between a past reality and a present fiction. My work starts with scenarios that evolve into things bigger than themselves, going beyond nostalgia to become celebrations, landmarks, or memorials. Exaggeration, embellishment, adornment, stylization, modification, and customization are methods I use to move through these scenarios and often arrive at a transformative shift...

This preservation process begins the moment a thing dies. Its optimum resides in the past allowing the function of the memory to operate as a preserver. This is the human longing for greater satisfaction and fulfillment. We experience loss, supplement it with celebration and spectacle, and then attempt to preserve it all...

In the effort to preserve, sometimes a layering or blanketing of cultural and personal experiences occurs, much like a mummification process or the entombed city of Pompeii. It seems the more we project to preserve, the more ambiguous and watered-down the integrity of the original experience becomes. That continual failure to preserve and immortalize is a natural wonder in itself. It’s the complex of Mt. Vesuvius: simultaneously destroying yet preserving the city of Pompeii and propelling it into its current state of wonder...

Borrowing from taxidermy has become a regular part of my process. Both taxidermy and story telling share a romance with the commonplace, making myths from the real...

These are strategies that create a transitory state and allow the viewer to feel as if the sculptures are living stories and not just inanimate objects or icons. My work reveals the human desire to constantly resurrect the past and the complications and implications that come along with that, sometimes for the best and sometimes leading to its demise, but always shifting...

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