Rachel Yurkovich, one of the artists featured in Lexington Art Leagues FEAST exhibit, is an artist currently located in Cleveland, Ohio, where she works at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Growing up with missionaries as parents, and having many homes around southeast Europe, Yurkovich who had always had a love for craft’s and drawing, took an even greater interest in the visual arts when it occurred to her she “could use art as an emotional output and a communication tool”. Yurkovich continued her interest for the arts by attending the Cleveland Institute of Art for Sculpture and Painting, graduating in 2014. Her artwork involves various forms of mediums in 2D and 3D, but regarding Yurkovich’s favorite mediums she says that, “My favorite mediums to work with are living things, and capturing their action through video. The action and reaction of the projects must be genuine and not faked for he camera.” Most of Yurkovich’s artwork is inspired by struggles found in daily life, the indulgence of people’s pleasures, and the fascinating lives of insects and animals.
We had a chance to ask Rachel Yurkovich a few questions about her video piece, “Five Second Rule”, that is featured in FEAST.
Lexington Art League (LAL): What went into the creation of your piece for the FEAST exhibit?
Rachel: I was thinking about how our perspective of food changes immediately once it hits the ground, and which food is the most iconically is lost forever once it touches the ground. I wanted to counteract that and depict someone that is so into the ice cream they will throw off every social construct and act like an animal by lapping it off of the dirty sidewalk. So I tried it. This piece was a second attempt at a performance that involved dropping of an ice cream cone with three scoops onto the sidewalk, waiting more than five seconds, then stooping down to the cone and eating it off of the sidewalk without my hands. I got some weird looks, but the ice cream still tasted good.
LAL: Why did you think this piece would be a good addition to the exhibition?
Does the rest of your artwork follow along the same lines as this piece? If not, what themes are typically exemplified in your artwork?
Rachel: FEAST: Pleasure, Hunger, Ritual When I saw the title I thought it would be a perfect setting for this piece. My work addresses overconsumption, and how sometimes the lack of self control can lead to negative consequences. For Five-Second Rule I used myself in a performance of such. However, other times I have used insects and animals as stand-ins for human situations of desire, indulgence, and self destruction.
LAL: What goal or message do you want the viewers or audience to know about this piece in particular?
Rachel: If the viewer is disgusted or semi-shocked by why I am doing what I am doing in the video, I would like if they would stop and ponder as to why they disagree with my actions. Through this and other works people will be exposed to another way of seeing themselves and their actions. I advocate for thought to happen behind decisions that could have negative consequences on one-self or others. To not spend one’s life seeking out ways to fulfill desires of the flesh, but to take advantage of the cognitive ability we have as humans and be self-aware of what we choose to spend our time indulging in, and how deep we let ourselves go.
LAL: What advice would you have or give to newer artists?
Rachel: Don't limit yourself to one material. Experiment with anything (Right now I'm collecting dust for no reason). Get a studio and make a habit of going there even if you don't get anything done. Apply to lots of shows. It's kind of like a good type of gambling.
For more information about Rachel Yurkovich and her artwork visit her website:
"Five-Second Rule" by Rachel Yurkovich
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All Lexington Art League programs are made possible through the generous support of LexArts. LexArts allocation of $50,000 represents the largest single donation to the operations of the Lexington Art League.
The Kentucky Arts Council, a state arts agency, provides operating support to the Lexington Art League with state tax dollars and federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support provided by Lexington Parks & Recreation.