Mary Ellen Croteau — Artist Statement


The function of the visual in consumer culture is to overwhelm and imprint,  rendering us passive vessels for received wisdom.  Vast databases of disconnected facts, driven by arcane mathematical formulae rather than by a creative or logical progression of thought, do more to confuse and disconnect us from the information we need to control our world than they do to facilitate it.  My work is an attempt to counter this trend toward disembodied “intelligence.”

I firmly believe in the power of the visual, and my work is my voice: a social critique and a visual challenge to all the cultural detritus we are force-fed every day.  My art is about looking at things in a slightly different way, and is intended to undermine the status quo with wit and humor. 

I work both large and small, from installations to artist books, and use a variety of media, from traditional painting to photography to xerox and assemblage. The critique largely determines the presentation. 

“Sex roles are intriguingly redefined...”   

                    - Holland Cotter

                      New York Times Art In Review       

“The beauty of Croteau’s work lies largely in the humor employed to deliver some serious trouble.”                            

                    - Patrick JB Flynn

                      Art Editor, The Progressive