“Beauty is Nothing” | Renee Audette

The Apple Gallery at Good Earth Market, 3024 2nd Avenue North in Billings, presents an exhibition, “Beauty is Nothing”, highlighting the artistry of ceramic artist Renee Audette during the February 7  ArtWalk, 5:00pm-9:00pm, with a gallery talk at 6:30pm.  Join us for a Deli Café dinner special from 4:30pm – 7:00pm and live music by guitarist Dennis Netikksimmons.

Artist’s Statement

I envision insecurity as an internal second- self.  She is a ruthless, evil twin, skilled in the arts of judgment and recrimination, taunting, “not good enough, never good enough.”

My work is a psychological narrative that conveys the senselessness of the pursuit of perfection.  The work addresses the desire to regain control over the wreakage of a broken life and the struggle to accept what cannot be fixed.  It illustrates the futility in attempting to construct an ideal self, and leads us to the discovery that ultimately, the only true beauty is found within the flaws.

Many people seem to be their own worst enemies, full of contradictory impulses and desires.  It is often that we cannot seem to reconcile our logical minds with our emotions, or we fail to listen to that little voice inside our heads.

My work represents, simultaneously, the beauty and ugliness that is inherently part of each of us. The figures I create often appear uncomfortable, expressing internal conflicts and emotional insecurities. The girls depicted in my sculptures are trapped within a bizarre dream-world, surrounded by feminine clichés. Fraught with contradiction, they present sweet and bitter side by side. I find cute, girly imagery both alluring and disturbing, and so I seek to create objects that embrace these romantic notions of girlhood even while exposing them as fairytales.  The result is a voyeuristic glimpse of a world where everything is not as perfect as it first appears. Just beneath the attractive, candy coated veneer, carefully guarded secrets and dark fantasies are revealed. Influenced by figurines and collectibles, my sculptures allude to the conventional, the decorative and the domestic.  The kitsch- like quality of the work gives it a familiar, sentimental quality drawing one in close, only to confront with the disconcerting intensity of the figures’ interaction and expression.

Much of my recent work deals with representations of twins. It is common to hear speculation about the ability of one twin to read the other’s mind or feel the other’s pain.  We have all seen twins dressed in identical outfits in the supermarket or the schoolyard.  When we think of twins, we most often seem to consider them as a single unit or two parts of a whole.  My twin sculptures convey a tension created by multiple or dual selves inside a single body.  They are about the basic human struggle to overcome dissatisfaction, inadequacy, and self-doubt. In essence, the good vs. evil twins of popular myth are constantly battling within our collective imagination.  They represent the good and bad in us all.


About Renee Audette

Renee Audette is a figurative artist who creates emotional, narrative sculptures and paintings relating to human psychology and her own personal experiences. She received her BFA from the University of Wyoming in 2000 and her MFA from the University of Florida in 2005.

Renee exhibits her work both nationally and internationally and has been published in several books and art journals. Her work is featured in permanent art collections throughout the United States and in Jingdezen, China.

Renee is the recipient of numerous awards.  In 2007 she was awarded a fellowship to attend the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts as a resident artist in Helena Montana. Currently, she is a studio artist and part-time instructor at MSUB.

“Beauty is Nothing” will be exhibited February 7 – April 25.

Pictured:   “For Beauty’s Nothing but Beginning of Horror we are Still Just Able to Bear”, 12x8x8 in., Ceramic, 2013