I create portraits that challenge traditional ways of viewing ourselves and our world. My stylistic influences are as diverse as Persian miniatures and Germanic Renaissance painting. In my animal portraits I blend realism and primitivism. My portraits of self and society juxtapose vulnerability with challenging social constructs. My work as a whole represents a journey in better understanding individual identity.
Portrait & Figurative | 2017 & 2018
By working in oil on canvas I directly reference and tackle the centuries of western portraiture and figurative painting in which the male gaze has dominated our understanding and formed our conception of not only the female form, but of a woman’s value, role within society and view of self.
My self portrait presents myself in many ways, including: one view of me looking outward directly at the viewer, and another, my reflected figure contained in an antique gilded mirror. My face, turned out to confront the viewer, is active; my reflected figure is passive. My piece takes on the complexity of subjectivity and objectivity, suggesting and provoking many layers of understanding of the relationships between viewer, artist, and object.
This approach is more direct than many works that have dealt with similar themes, and that’s intentional. It’s my goal to break through — to confront the viewer with their voyeurism, to provoke a direct reaction to me as an artist as well as a woman, and to ask: “Why do you do this to me?”
Animal Portrait | 2017 & 2018
The immediate attack on the environment post-election affected me deeply. My mind went to the arctic and the beautiful wildlife on the front lines of the devastating and undeniable affects of climate change. “Polar Bear” became a new member of my ongoing series of animal portraits encouraging people to relate more meaningfully with the natural world.
My animal portraits are anthropomorphically presented as if they were portraits of kith and kin. I urge the viewer to connect their personal history, experiences and feelings with the animal as an individual through personification. The flat, velvety quality of gouache draws the viewer deeper into the subject's world. Through a vibrant range of hues and small symbols, e.g. the "March for Science" pin, I create a sense of whimsy that further connects the viewer to the subject.
This Polar Bear is a scientist, actively standing up to battle climate change. He is determined to prevail against a movement where science is only used when convenient and ignored when it is not. He is optimistic about the power of facts, reason, and nature to overcome superstition, ignorance, and greed. Will you stand with him to protect the future of our world and give voice to the denizens of this magic and threatened ecosystem?