Penelope Umbrico’s Art Takes On Consumer Culture

by Flaunt Intern

PENELOPE UMBRICO | "28,534,323 Suns from Sunset from Flickr (Partial)", 2016 | Type C-print | 160” high x 354” wide (a total of 2360 unique 4” x 6” prints) | COLLECTION OF THE MILWAULKEE ART MUSEUM

PENELOPE UMBRICO | "28,534,323 Suns from Sunset from Flickr (Partial)", 2016 | Type C-print | 160” high x 354” wide (a total of 2360 unique 4” x 6” prints) | COLLECTION OF THE MILWAULKEE ART MUSEUM

Amongst the Mark Moore Fine Art online exhibition on ARTSY titled, “One Place After Another: A Survey of Public Art Today,” is one artist in particular that stands out, Penelope Umbrico. 

Umbrico, Philadelphia born, graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto and studied for her MFA at the School of Visual Arts in New York. The artist uses consumer culture, such as catalogs, travel and leisure brochures, and websites like Craigslist, Ebay, and Flickr, to create her collage-like works of art. And through her art, offers a radical take on these everyday activities.

She is most known for her piece, “Suns from Sunsets from Flickr,” a piece she began back in 2006 when searching Flickr for the most popular image. 

In an article for ARTSY, Umbrico explains that she found there was 541,795 hits that year and since then that number has increased, resulting in several editions of the piece. The artist gives a little insight to ARTSY about the images when she says, “Perhaps part of the beauty of taking a picture of a sunset is that while you are doing it it’s likely that a million other people are doing it as well – at exactly the same time.” 

Although the artist uses a minimalist aesthetic and simple ideas she invokes great feeling and thought into what surrounds the average person on a daily basis, from a beautiful sunset, to advertisements for the latest technology. In her solo display with ARTSY, titled, “Bad Display,” technology is the artists focus, the screen in particular. 

Umbrico explains how we each are connected through these types of things, and she is definitely an artist to search when you are looking to add to your fine art collection. 

Check out Penelope Umbrico in the Mark Fine Art gallery here


Written by: Evelyn Mateos

Title Picture: Via Artsy