Rebecca Szeto is an artist living and working in San Francisco, California. She received her BA in Studio Art from UC Berkeley in 1992 and has continued her artistic training to date with independent studies under Rose Shakinovsky and Clare Gavronsky in Montagnana, Italy and most recently, Poppiano, Italy (2013).
Szeto has been a funded fellow at CanSerrat in El Bruc, Spain; Banff Centre for the Arts in Alberta, Canada; and Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village, Colorado, and was awarded a Pamela Joseph Merit Fellowship. She has also attended other residencies in Montagnana, Italy, and both Capetown and Limpopo, South Africa.
My work is about making connections between materials, objects and situations, playing with subtle shifts of perception, and questioning belief structures. I touch on themes of absence/presence, (be)longing, and transformation. Often, a humorous experience of confounded expectations greets the viewer, who initially recognizes one thing, but looking closer, realizes something is curiously awry.
I don't work with any specific material or art process, opting for the right material to convey a particular message, using an appropriate method. The materials I use are often humble, mundane, mass-produced objects like used paintbrushes, dead bees, chewed gum, thorns and rust, inspired by my immediate surroundings and circumstances. The process develops as an exploration of the qualities inherent in the materials and evolves into a deeper look at their implications. My works are markedly concise and quiet, steeped in wordplay, and often consisting of a single repetitive object or action. This simplicity allows for a space where subtle material variations and meanings may arise and where adaptive re-invention is possible.