Kristal Armendariz (°1972, New Mexico, United States) is an artist who mainly works with photography. By experimenting with aleatoric processes, Armendariz formalizes the coincidental and emphasizes the conscious process of composition that is behind the seemingly random works. The thought processes, which are supposedly private, highly subjective and unfiltered in their references to dream worlds, are frequently revealed as assemblages.
Her photos feature coincidental, accidental and unexpected connections which make it possible to revise art history and, even better, to complement it. Combining unrelated aspects lead to surprising analogies. By parodying mass media and exaggerating certain formal aspects inherent to our contemporary society, she often creates work using creative game tactics, but these are never permissive. Play is a serious matter: during the game, different rules apply than in everyday life and even everyday objects undergo transubstantiation.
Her works are saturated with obviousness, mental inertia, clichés and bad jokes. They question the coerciveness that is derived from the more profound meaning and the superficial aesthetic appearance of an image. By taking daily life as subject matter while commenting on the everyday aesthetic of middle class values, she makes works that can be seen as self-portraits. Sometimes they appear idiosyncratic and quirky, at other times, they seem typical by-products of American superabundance and marketing.
Her works are characterised by the use of everyday objects in an atmosphere of middleclass mentality in which recognition plays an important role. Kristal Armendariz currently lives and works in Las Cruces.