Progress on a new art project / by Michelle Goldchain

I'm currently working on a new art project in hopes to have it exhibited at an upcoming Washington, D.C. exhibition this September. There's still a lot of time left, and I actually expect to finish the project later this month. So far, it's a little over halfway done.

Once complete, my art project will feature five round wooden plaques, each measuring 11 inches in diameter. On top of these plaques, used cigarettes will be fixed on top. Finally, neon wire will be placed above the cigarettes. Each plaque will have a different letter blinking in neon, spelling out: SWELL.

With the acrid smell of the cigarettes and the physical roughness of the wooden plaques, the brightness of the neon will be a stark contrast to the overall elements used—something light and airy, rather than dark and dense. The finished piece is meant to be sarcastic with the word choice because how is cancer swell? And the blinking of the lights could also be made similar to retailers (who use neon signs) and their struggle to sell cigarettes as the smoking rate hits an all-time low.

The artwork serves as a reminder to others that the only way to see any lightness in the usage of cigarettes is to ignore the smell and the price that comes with it.

You can check out a video of the project on Instagram here.