ARTIST STATEMENT

RECENT WORK (2018)

This  body of work revolves around the representation and abstraction of personal, everyday clothing. Growing into womanhood, I constantly think about the meaning of clothes and appearance, both socially and internally. As I reflect on these intimate belongings and consider their relationship with my body, identity, and societal assumptions, I translate my perception, memories, and emotions into painting through color, light, and shape.

          For the sculptural paintings, I draw and cut out gestural shapes. Whether the represented clothing is worn by a body part, taken off, or having a life of its own, I want them to have movement and personality; such as sleeves as flailing arms, or a pile of laundry that curls into itself. Biomorphic shap­­es mimic the body or its parts (as clothes easily do), but simultaneously transforms into their own surreal creatures.

          In painting clothes, brushstrokes of varying thickness, wetness, and speed mimic the feelings of fabric; such as wrinkly leather straps, clingy tights, and undone shirts. The more movement a shape has, the looser the strokes. Clothing patterns, such as stripes, exaggerate bodily curves. I also like to note anthropomorphic moments, such as leg holes and buttons becoming eyes.

          Arranging colors in paint is like arranging outfits. I like to observe colors interacting between clothes, such as the way a green outfit brings out the redness of brown leather. Color, light, and gradients breathe life and characteristics, such as secretive blacks, blushing oranges, and pleasant greens. Pattern also enhances color, such as pink stripes becoming purple in daylight, or blue gingham in glittering squares.

          As I draw, cut, and paint these personal objects, I become aware of their materiality, personality presence, and how my body feels and remembers about wearing them. Sensual qualities sometimes coexist with fragmented body parts, just as piecing an identity together is both anxious and self-nurturing.  I like to create an intimate sense of the lived-in, the worn, and the individually-selected. In a mediated, mass-produced, stereotyping world, how clothes may shape identity is complicated, but not nullified. I investigate clothing with the hope that self-expression can still be found and reclaimed.

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