My still life portraits investigate issues of women’s empowerment and changing identity. These paintings express women’s strength and struggle for equality in the 21st century.
Starting with paper photographs of women, I fold and cut the images to give them a new 3rd dimension, communicating both disruption and resilience. I make large paintings of the fragile paper constructions to fix transitional moments in a solid form.
As an American female raised in the 1980s, I have always experienced women’s cultural identity in the midst of powerful and controversial transition. My paintings describe the unique possibility and uncertainty of that experience. This work grew out of a series of portraits of strong women I was making. I moved to painting more distorted images to convey a fuller experience of being strong and female in our culture. Altering photographs of women disrupts our conditioned first responses – ugly/pretty, young/old – and their associated value judgments. Being able to clearly see the subject’s eyes shows her insistence on engaging with the world, and the burden that engagement can cause.
Acts of strength are filled both with determination and uncertainty. My work investigates the struggle that women have in being seen as strong, as well as the hidden obstacles and fears that live inside even the most courageous lives.