Rendered within the core of my work, media and contemporary culture define feminine notions of beauty, vulnerability and sexuality, using the materiality of veiled imagery. Information, gathered through reality television, fashion magazines, billboards, personal relationships and experience, cultivates narratives of a fragmented reflection of confusing feminine roles. Through staging scenes using models props and make-up I utilize digital images as sketches to develop a hard copy to use as a visual reference for the impressions left from the onslaught of this psychological clutter.
Working figuratively, I depict contemporary women questioning the status quo on how we perceive ourselves through our personal and societal history. The experiences that I've acquired are mixed with the impressions left by the women in my compositions, juxtaposed against the history of how female beauty has been depicted throughout art history. Through the imagery I stage I find each model's essence by encouraging spontaneity and exaggeration during the digital photography shoots. This helps to facilitate exposure to the many hidden layers found beneath the masks individuals create to protect themselves bringing forth a fragmented yet more authentic portrait. The models, once posed and altered with make-up or props, take on a role greater than their individual personality. Visually, I strive to process my interpretations through a more universal code with which a viewer can identify, one that speaks to them individually, with familiarity and intimacy conveyed through comfort or discomfort but one not necessarily clear. My work encourages a discourse that could have an eventual impact on the complexity of influences currently affecting women, society and their beauty perceptions.
Scale proves to be an integral element throughout my work, facilitating the physical impression of empowerment, playfulness, fragility and fragmentation for the viewer. Predominantly working large-scale, on surfaces such as wood, canvas and mylar allows for a variety that compliments the imagery as a series. I choose appropriate materials to render my concepts according to the surface and the particular impact I want to express through each composition. The cropped fragments, much smaller in scale, provide the viewer with an intimate glance into the complicated feminine perspective behind the layers and masks worn. The materials I use - charcoal, pastels, wax and oils are proficient in producing marks that portray an essential fleshiness and texture. This effect draws the viewer's gaze into each composition, allowing for the theme at the core to be revealed by means of thought and contemplation. As a result, each composition viewed as a portion of series is tied together through materiality as the signifier.
The process of finding my voice through the materials I am working with is far from completed. This ongoing process has brought to my attention more questions than answers. The materials - utilizing their individual qualities, always learning how to manipulate and achieve the effect that I am after often challenges my resolve as an artist. Ultimately, it's these challenges that push me forward.