Oona Stern’s work can be described as architectural installation. These installations create a playful and humorous experience. Often juxtaposing natural and man made environments, Stern makes subtle social and cultural commentary.
During her residency, Stern created watermarks of wood grain which were backed with colored sheets, or cast onto vinyl house siding. The watermark was created by drawing silicone on fiberglass window screening. The paper was then used in conjunction with construction materials such as plywood and sheetrock. Stern is interested in the wood grain as a graphic line which translates into a recognizable symbol, and this work used handmade paper as a representation of the original wood or vinyl siding. Stern’s Untitled (grain) exposes a ridiculous attempt at copying, in paper, what is already fake in paneling, by drawing a wood pattern with crayon onto cast grain-textured paper. Thrice removed, Stern’s diptych retains a cartoony quality.
The program allowed me to bring my way of working into a field where I knew nothing and produce a batch of material I was interested in.
—Oona Stern, 1998
Oona Stern received a BA from Cornell University and a MFA from the School of Visual Arts. Additional endeavors include the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artist and Writers Program, and the Arctic Circle residency. Stern lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.