The Dry Stuff

Inga Lena is an emerging artist from the Washington, DC metropolitan area now in Orange County, CA.  As the daughter of the Corcoran College of Art + Design’s Chair of Fine Art, Inga had an early window into the art community and attended classes at the school through her teenage years.  With interests in both art and science, Inga received her BS in Animal Science at the University of Maryland, College Park, and her Maryland RVT license.  Her education as an artist has been largely self-taught, benefitting from instructional books, social media and guidance from other artists.  

Inga’s early work consisted of plush and textile art.  Her soft sculptures have been featured in Stuffed magazine and seen at local juried craft shows and brick-and-mortar shops.  Her current work focuses mainly on pop-surreal 3-D sculpture, working with materials such as polymer and epoxy clays as well as molding and casting resin figures.  She shows and runs her online shop under the name Absurdery.

The Creamy Filling

'I make monsters.'  That's what I tell the other moms at the park right before they nod, smile politely and change the subject.  Honestly, they are not terrifying monsters, maybe a bit mischievous but who isn't?  I perceive them to be shy and elusive but quite bright, scurrying busily about while generally going unnoticed by grown ups.  They do their work and satisfy their appetites while rarely being documented in present day and are considered by most to have never existed at all.  

Many of my creatures turn out to be tricksters.  Once they arrive at your home prepare yourself for when your dental floss goes missing, the paperclips are all hooked together, or if there is one tiny bite taken from every slice of bread in the loaf.  I attempt to domesticate them but I am not a miracle worker.  Others seem to be duplicitous and not trustworthy at all.  I spend a lot of my life basically content but constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop.

My inspiration is derived from what could be but is not, the cryptoflora and cryptofauna that inhabit my imagination made tangible.  I am unsure of where my actual ideas come from, a question that I am often asked.  My weirdo brain?  Most of them are unplanned and born from incidental word or shape combinations that conjure an image.  Some begin as a daydream gone rogue.  Many of my ideas stem from the thought 'Wouldn't it be funny if....'  Specifically I can target watching Guillermo del Toro's 'Don't be afraid of the dark' and deciding that I wanted to make monsters like those little baddies except not so creepy.  I wanted their little teeth to look like they might just go in for a nip or chew on a piece of fruit or grass for real.     

Rabbits and rabbit-like creatures have been a common theme in my work over the years as well as other woodland creatures, insects and experimental hybrid creatures.  I attribute most of that to my upbringing in the woodsy Maryland countryside. The ears and eyes are the most communicative parts to me, conveying personality and feeling. Once a monster is made it seems full of life and secrets.  My favorite part of making is finally uncovering the glass eyes or adding the gloss to the black eyes that makes them sparkle with consciousness.

Aside from my artwork I have devoted my life to riding horses competitively, teaching horseback riding, and small animal veterinary medicine as an RVT.  Like any good libra I am totally lazy and constantly attempt to balance the opposite elements of my life, art and science, left and right brain, crisp clean details and random filth.  I obsessively collect scrapbooking paper (I don't scrapbook).  My favorite foods are anything smothered in melted cheese, and fresh fruit.  My one regret is that I do not enjoy drinking wine, I feel this failure makes me lack culture.  Now you know everything but if you want to know more you can email me with art related questions at absurdery@gmail.com.'