T.C. Engelbrecht is a painter and sculptor who is currently exploring the obsession people have with material objects. He is currently a BFA candidate at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) in Studio Art. He had previously attended the Art Institute of San Antonio (AISA) in pursuit of a Graphic Design degree where he discovered a new direction was needed to further explore his art voice. He is a recipient of the Merit Scholarship at SAIC and was on the Dean’s List at AISA.
I paint, draw, and work with wood to satisfy my curiosity for the idea in which humans obsess over objects. Whether these objects are physical or an abstract idea (such as the objectification of a person, place or thing) the concept of object obsession is interesting to me. I made my most recent artwork with oil paint on canvas contextualizing this object obsession called “Immolation of Becoming.” I painted brightly colored and gradually blended shapes onto a background that ambiguously exists as a flat surface which resembles stone or wood that these objects are given the illusion of being swallowed or trapped within. The color arrangements bring a small level of anxiety to me and I’m hoping to convey this feeling to the audience. I want the viewer to feel a little satisfied yet uneasy.
Another art object I’ve created from pine wood carved into a smooth surface, painted, and preserved with glossy enamel called “Unquenchable Me” contextualizes this object obsession in a more pointed direction. The glossy shine of the finished product is attractive because of this built-in desire for water that all humans have. The object itself is not functional and has no real purpose other than to shine and exist, yet it is desirable. My work continues to explore this concept through various mediums and my intent is to allow the viewer to feel a bit anxious and uneasy while gazing upon a desirable object without the ability to touch it.
I understand this uneasy feeling when being objectified. I spent thirteen years in the U.S. Marines as an object which was told that it was the property of the U.S. government. Now that I’m out in the world, I need to find another identity. I am an artist. An art object maker.