New York City by Whitney Sanford

Whitney Sanford

San Francisco, CA - United States


Whitney Sanford is a San Francisco mixed media artist. Having moved several times throughout her life, coupled with a deep desire to explore the world at large, her work tends to focus on the concepts of home and community. In using watercolor, oil, paper cutout, animation, polaroid and collage, she intends to lend a unique depiction of each individual “experience”.

Artist statement

I’m a pedestrian explorer and seeker of security. From macro to micro, from entire civilizations to hand painted tiling, I want to know the differences and similarities among all of us.

On the macro level, I use drone photographs found on the internet as my source material. Through modern technology and surveillance, I am able to explore remote places and cultures. This exploration requires intimacy while jeopardizing anonymity and playing with questions of security. In transcribing these images into watercolors, I’ve made this searching about the frailty of life.

On the micro level, I use found photographs of interiors and turn them into paper cut-outs. What first began as a narrative about my puppy and I living in our isolated tower, dreaming of a perfect home, I wound up exploring what spaces already exist. Through paper cut-outs, I’ve been forced to simplify these interiors into studies on space and light, shapes and design.

The concept of shelter is embedded in us. The protection of our houses is what motivates most of our decisions. What started off as rudimentary structures has evolved into statements of prestige and dominance. As well, homes have found more nuanced ways of existing. Because many cultures have had to flee an unwanted power and the innovation in their re-building is astounding. From carting stones, deciding how to build, engineering how houses were to respond to their new geography and seeking the most defensive terrain, we can learn how home has evolved, both singularly and together.

My goal is to learn how to articulate one of our most fundamental needs in an imaginative, personal, and deeply exploratory method.

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