Born in 1980 on Williams Air Force Base in Arizona, Whitney Lynn received her M.F.A. in New Genres from the San Francisco Art Institute in California, where she currently lives. Having recently described herself as a “bit of a political blog junkie,” Lynn pays attention to how visual elements shape our cultural perceptions of objects by examining military culture and its interventions in our civilian landscape.
In order to do this, Lynn selects something familiar or neutral, such as a pillow fort, and exploits its hidden conceptuality by artistically investigating it. This naturally leads her to work in a variety of different media. Children often play military games, whether chasing each other around the neighborhood (or Air Force Base), playing with water guns, or building forts in living rooms, and this concept is of interest to Lynn. By using pillows, mattresses, and sheets to create a sculptural installation of a fort, the similarities between civilian and military culture become less distinct. In another project, the artist took the familiar story of an army general walking up to the opposing side’s fort with a butterfly net and paper. Claiming to be sketching butterflies, the general really writes down the floor plan of the fort. For the exhibition Decoy at LoBot Gallery in Oakland earlier this year, Lynn presented large paper butterflies with secret floor plans laser cut into their centers, an artwork with penetrating precision, both in concept and aesthetic. Whether she is using pillows or paper, Lynn imparts her accuracy and sensitivity in perception to the viewer. Lynn has previously exhibited at Swell Gallery in San Francisco and Spur Projects in Portola Valley.