Sirima Sataman is an interdisciplinary artist primarily working in traditional media, principally printmaking and sculpture. She studied sculpture, printmaking and fiber arts at the Claremont Colleges, the American University in Rome, Italy and Temple/Tyler University in Rome, Italy. She works and resides in San Francisco, California.
Sirima immigrated to the New York City in the early 1970’s when she as a young child. Her experience with moving from a developing country to a post-industrial country is at the root of her artistic inquiry. Her imagery and artifacts revolve around the emotional and human aspects of our cultural ecology – how we adapt to social and environmental factors in order to survive and prosper. Her work focuses on these objects of productivity, engineering, and progress long after their invention. Rusting farm equipment overtaken by tall dead weeds, empty barns and factory buildings, steel bridges and fire escapes, and empty paddocks are icons of our agrarian and industrial life. Empty landscapes and endless sky punctuated by a sole man-made object jab at the scale of our progress. Weathered trees, eroding buildings and machinery persevere the passage of time.
There is a nostalgia and reverence in her depiction of what we choose to keep and what we leave behind as we adapt to a digital society. As we embrace technology and progress we substitute aspects of human-made for machine-made. Intrinsically, the mark of the hand and the mark of the process are important aspects of Sataman’s work. She avoids the overt use of modern technology and describes her subjects through the elemental processes of printmaking and sculpture – copper etched with ferric acid, India ink bound with hand mixed shellac, graphite, wax, lump rosin, bronze, wood, and linoleum. The personal, tangible, and imperfect nature of these processes creates a palpable expression of time, place and human ingenuity.