Much of my work utilizes paint to examine concepts pertaining to identity and how particular elements manifest visually. I have been exploring how through studying groups of people I might be able to create a visual representation of an idea or word within the study of identity. Using subject material of the figure, I explore on how intentionally selecting and combining imagery creates a sociological landscape that is built from particular aspects of a group or individual identity.
My interest in gender identity began through feminist studies and theories from such great minds as bell hooks and Simone de Beauvoir with increased appreciation of the body from Maurice Merleau‐Ponty. I developed great interest in self-identification, social group construction, and the theory of “the other”. Within the feminist dialogue of gender roles and gender construction I began reading about the contemporary idea of the gender spectrum.
Subsequently, I completed a series that aimed to capture the shift between genders as the central slice of this fluid spectrum: using an advertisement on Craigslist, I began painting individuals who identify as transgender. This work is important to me as I have people in my life who fall at different points of the gender spectrum and I intend for this work to broaden the viewer’s perspective on the fluidity of gender.
The last two paintings submitted consider gesture in the history of portraiture utilizing closed eyes. The work highlights the voyeuristic nature of painting and the subject/object relationship of the people in paintings and images.