Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Artist Statement

Writing an artist statement is often time more difficult than making the work. So it keeps changing, evolving...but this is where it's at right now.

For as long as I can remember I have had an obsession with idealized beauty. I have been simultaneously attracted to and repulsed by the idea. I am interested in the duality between a recognizable and unrecognizable form with the ambiguity that lies therein. The forms I create have a feeling of nearness, yet- most of the women I create seem untouchable. They have been taken beyond the point of harm and remain in a distant realm, constantly confronting their gaze with the viewer. Showing vulnerability, while at the same time having a direct resistance or a detachment to the ideals they personify is important in these images.

I often force my own image into this mediated representation of an unattainable standard of beauty. Referencing an image of myself, while not directly creating a self-portrait, I question individual identity in relationship to the struggle with the collective imaginary stereotype generated through contemporary western culture. An ideal female doesn’t exist; the dilemma lies in trying to create that form.

The way my work is made makes it unclear whether or not they are paintings, drawings, photographs or sculptures and why they exist in these forms. Transferring manipulated photographic images and then painting and scraping, sometimes even removing what has already been put down, is an important part of the body of work. My hand never leaves the work, yet sometimes it is unclear in what part I am appearing. A loss of distinction between subject and object or between self and other speaks to an internal desire that cannot be fulfilled. This impression of perfection doesn’t last long, and beauty will ultimately fade. The resulting depiction can be seen as grotesque, though at times the way I create the images allows them to be too beautifully rendered to appear violent. I often don’t allow the figures to occupy a meaningful ground, one that has been directly transferred from its original source. As a female, and one obsessed with a view of beauty and fashion, I want to question the passive, sensual role that I feel is depicted in these pervasive cultural images. Weaving together a decomposition laced with the idea of preservation is always at play in the images I make.

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