Amanda Steinken, Chicago, 2017. Self portrait 8.5 x 11.0 in. Chicago, Collection of the artist

Amanda Steinken, Chicago, 2017. Self portrait 8.5 x 11.0 in. Chicago, Collection of the artist

My time in the studio is a search for salvation. Unlike the Catholic heaven for which I was once taught to strive through redemption, my current efforts seek the respite within. My marks and collages are tactile attempts to scribble over, scratch into, and peel away the screens, advertisements, and corresponding stories I tell myself about overlapping and fractured versions of my identity and place in the world.

My art seeks, questions, and engages rather than calls out, judges, or damns. It is a mindfulness practice, a sacrament of sorts, observing the ways I take in and respond to the noise of living. Instead of reveling in the pleasant and running away from the ugly, my work meditates on all parts of myself. My art honors the contradictions inherent in the human condition, serving as a reminder that raw beauty lies in the imperfections, and the sacred resides in the messy process of creation.