Angela's Digital Sketchbook

October 24, 2011

Sandy Skoglund Q&A

Filed under: Assignments — Angela @ 6:27 pm

Sandy Skoglund

1. Who is Sandy Skoglund?
Sandy Skoglund is a conceptual post-modern artist who was born in 1946. She specializes in photography and installation artist. Skoglund is known for her staged photography. Each stage of her photograph takes months to set up, and after the stage is set up, the actors have to be in tableaux (stay motionless) and blend in with the rest of the stage. She became an art professor at the University of Hartford in 1973. Right now, Skoglund teaches photography and art installation at Rutgers University.

2. What is the philosophy behind her art?
Sandy Skoglund’s installation art is the type of art that unifies reality and fantasy; it captures the true essence and meaning of an event with symbols (like animals) that represent it metaphorically. Skoglund have stated that “Since we, as human beings, consider ourselves the primary form of consciousness existing in nature, I decided to populate my images with alternative awareness (animals) into our experience.” Humans often use animals sometimes represent their consciousness and awareness; Skoglund reinforces the idea that humans are animals as well and the relationship between humanity and animals has always existed. Even though her photos are full of animals and fantasy-like, Skoglund herself does not believe her artworks are dream-like, instead, she thinks that they are simply reflections of reality. Her photographs are, indeed photographs, so she is just capturing a real moment of time.

3. Choose one of her installations to explain its meaning.

Sandy Skoglund’s Fox Games (1989) is another one of Skoglund’s infamous installation artworks. Installation art is a three-dimensional art which uses interior space effectively and change the audience’s perception of space. In this photograph, Skoglund took a, “interior space” photo of a fine dining restaurant. In the restaurant, there is a waiter serving two individuals. The highlight of this photo though, is a horde of red foxes lurking around. Without the red foxes, the photograph would have been a casual moment captured on camera, but with the foxes present, the room’s perception is changed from a normal dining room to a fantasy, dream-like space. As Skoglund have stated before, animals are metaphoric representations of humans, so in this photograph, the foxes are symbols presenting an idea. This photograph is conceptual, so the viewers may feel different emotions from this photograph. From my perspective, foxes have negative characteristics because in fairytales and short stories, foxes are greedy, always in search for food, and victims. In relation to humanity, the symbol of fox often means slyness, intelligence, and cunningness, which means that they are swift and sneaky. The humans in this photograph don’t realize the presence of these foxes, but in reality, if the foxes are representations of other human beings, they are most likely to lurk around and sneak to gossip. The conversation between the three individuals is unknown, yet the foxes give a hint that the conversation may not be a pleasant one and affect the atmosphere of the whole dining room. Overall, the red foxes are eye-catching and it makes the viewers seek their purpose and meaning.

Meggie Schmidt. Sandy Skoglund: Female Artist. March 14, 2011. October 23, 2011 from
Demetrio Paparoni. Sandy Skoglund in conversation with Demetrio Paparoni. 1998. October 23, 2011 from


1 Comment »

  1. Excellent analysis and research , Angela! Well written!
    Ms. McKay

    Comment by ymartblog — December 19, 2011 @ 8:07 pm

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