Back It Up, 2013
Oil, acrylic, and pen on canvas board
I want my work to praise the mundane and the everyday, to form a documentary living memory. Speaking to the collective consciousness, I want my work to challenge our beliefs about how a relationship should look. How a room should look. How a nose should look. Through the process of translating my lived experience onto the canvas as honestly as possible, I hope for the viewer’s zing of connection with the strokes and forms. Can I subvert tradition? Can I hoodwink my own inner critic and allow my hand to move intuitively?
My friendships consume me, little dramas played out on pavement and suede couches. I spend hours parsing together how to best care for the women who weave together my support system. As sentient beings we instinctually dissect and psychoanalyze each other’s actions, mothers, and desires. We partake in conflict resolution, negotiation, and compromise, continually taking risks in our confrontations and learning how to trust. My paintings within the past year have depicted everyday moments that attempt to capture the complexities of connection. Possessing elements of ambiguity, distortion, and the bizarre, my work draws on photographs, both staged and candid, mined from my iPhone’s depths. Does that make the paintings more real or less? A contrast of reality or detail between foreground and background at times adds to this ambiguity. Portions are washy or simplified into line and form, while other areas are more defined and “real.” Similar to the way in which the paint shifts between delineated and blurry, I am striving to portray various perspectives of care and the ever-shifting dynamics of relationships. These paintings seek to exhibit a sense of competition, balance, equilibrium, and power struggles. My subjects are my closest friends and yet my personal history with them becomes imbued with the viewer’s own memory bank of connections.
In order to get at these interactions as directly as possible I’ve removed the conventions of stretchers and white gesso. In these semi-domestic scenes of everyday negotiations and bonds, I have begun to add elements of other fabrics: pillowcases, handkerchiefs, and tablecloths. Using physical items that belonged to my grandmother and great-grandmother helps to represent the intangible dynamics that surround and absorb me, currents dominating my daily landscape of female friendships.
Petra and Sidonie, 2012
Oil on plastic window