April 30 @ 1-3pm

Location: Monona Grove Library, 1000 Nichols Rd, Madison, WI

Dysphoria Clowns: The Hilarity of Our Bodies features a series of ceramic objects created by Valen Monson in which clown faces and bodies are playfully displaced. The set is comprised of doll-like figures and wall hanging masks, and is heavily inspired by the optical illusion paintings done by Oleg Shuplyak.. These objects invite the viewers to think about how their identity is directly tied to their body. People make assumptions about each of us based solely on our appearance, and this can lead to a disconnect between who people see you as, and who you see yourself as, otherwise known as dysphoria. This unalignment can lead you to scrutinize and complicate the relationship you have with your body. Those who do not fit into the incredibly narrow conventional beauty standards are likely to feel othered.

Valen Monson is a student at the University of Wisconsin Madison. Valen is fascinated by secondhand objects, reusing old materials and giving them new life. He is heavily inspired by circus imagery and masks. Some of his favorite artists include Jim Henson, Dave Mckean, and Terje Ythjall. As a queer artist, his work often explores themes of identity and body positivity. He is working towards a BSE in Art Education, and is excited to be a future art teacher.