Inspired by occultist theories and otaku culture, A.E. Van Fleet's Prima Materia series explores the abstruse properties attributed to animals, plants, metals, gems and minerals to create collections based on symbolic associations with characters from popular culture. The signifiers of bones, herbs, gemstones and metals result in a material language that functions as a spell or talisman, invoking the spirits of the subjects explored in each piece.
This series’ juxtaposition of pop culture with etheric energies suggests new possibilities for cultural symbolism beyond the realm of obscure subcultures. Van Fleet’s collections challenge traditional binary categorizations in western art and culture, through the use of fetish and transgressive configurations, while attempting to demystify the veil that separates the experiential from the transcendent.