Amber Tutwiler is an artist originally from South Florida. As an interdisciplinary artist working within the expanded field of painting, she makes work that researches the lived experiences of having a (female) body that occupies socio-digital spaces. Digital interfaces blur the boundaries between our digital avatars and our actual selves, resulting in permanent hyperreality: the inability to distinguish the difference between reality and a simulation of reality. From a phenomenological perspective, these narratives evoke a range of clashing sensations – intimacy, desire, distance, abjection, compulsion, restraint – all of which can be felt in her work.
By working directly with her body, my negotiation of agency is tethered to the limitations of the interface. She create highly rendered oil paintings that resembles digitally manipulated photographs to articulate these boundaries. Like an echo of a body and a place pulled outward from their origin, fragments of images repeat, scatter, and intersect. This trompe l’oeil preserves some element of familiarity, even if this security is fleeting. Skin and fabric weave through the picture plane to suggest the fragmented and incomplete nature of intimacy. What the imagery conceals lingers just out of reach, leaving the viewer to wonder if their own looking is permissible, or if it is an act of voyeurism, desire, or projection. This is an effort to both reclaim and deflect, heightening the agency of the body while reinforcing that looking is not neutral. Touch always touches back.
In 2017, Tutwiler established H/ours Collective (active 2017-2019), which curated five exhibitions and two performances, including Liminal Encounters (2017), Flat (2018), and Here: Local / Non-local (2019) at various institutions. In 2018, she also began a collaborative partnership with a non-profit dance company, Ballet Florida of West Palm Beach, where they co-produced two performances, Welcome (2018) and Pulse (2019). Her work has been featured in the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami, Florida, Paradice Palase in Brooklyn, NY, MANA Contemporary in Miami, Florida, Kravis Center in West Palm Beach, Florida, and at the Women Cinemaker’s 2018 Biennale in Berlin, Germany. Awards include the South Cultural Consortium Fellowship in 2019, Women in Visual Arts Fellowship in 2017, and the Thesis and Dissertation Award from Florida Atlantic University in 2017. In the summer of 2020, she was a resident at IS Projects in Fort Lauderdale, Florida where she experimented with CMYK lithograph prints. This residency was followed by a solo exhibition, Repeater, which was on view at IS Projects from September 26 to November 12, 2020. She was one of twenty-six artists accepted into the Statewide Annual Exhibition in Utah (2020) which resulted in the collection of her work into the Alice Merrill Horne Collection in Utah. Most recently, she had two-person show at Flowerbox Projects in Miami, Florida, and is currently working on a collaboration with the Dance Department at Utah Valley University, Fractures, which debuts in February 2022. She attended Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts for Dance and Visual Arts, Massachusetts College of Art and Design for Painting, Florida Atlantic University for Psycology (BA in Psychology) and received her MFA in Visual Art from Florida Atlantic University (2017). She is an Assistant Professor at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah teaching across foundations, painting, and drawing. She currently lives in downtown Salt Lake City, UT.