The painted canvas is an open window. Sometimes it shows a scene of the artistís greatest fears and desires, but other times it leaves the viewer wondering if the window is open at all. My canvas shows human emotion in such an external way from the figure that the viewer is left questioning if the emotion is there at all. On a broader scale, there is also an interest in a difference between the external, accepted, and familiar view of an object and its true state. Using cues from fashion photography, theatrical lighting, and basic color theory, these paintings re-create the moods of the heart using the human figure only as a tool to achieve the final result.
The first painting of this series depicts a young woman, glamorously made-up with her hair expertly styled to match her outfit. The high-contrast highlights on the fabric of her dress indicate that her dress is made out of satin. There is a life preserver around her that rests upon the seemingly endless folds of her satin dress, and not on water, as one might expect. This is Despair. The figure is staged to be drowning, and a life preserver has been thrown out to her; yet, she stands still and makes not a motion to save herself. Her body language shows that she has given up, despite objects being placed in front of her to provide salvation. While all these signals support this hopeless atmosphere, the apparent non-emotion in the figureís face and closed eyes create a disconnect and it is difficult to actually relate to her. Rather than being a collection of my fashion fantasies-come-true, these works are intended to re-create, demonstrate, and address the concept of simulation. Everything depicted in the painting simulates the emotion and plays upon the accepted visual cues and colors commonly associated with that emotion. At the same time, the realization should dawn upon the viewers that there is no emotion in the painting at all.On a more personal vein, Snakeís Vanity is an exploration of learning about oneself but also the concept of fulfilling a destiny. It is a self-portrait with a snake, which is my zodiac sign. In this painting, the symbol of the snake, as well as the person it signifies, occupy the space at the same time. The obscure, murky background is meant to be the literal space inside my mind, and this scene becomes what the public doesnít see about the subject of the painting. Yet at the same time, the costume-y nature of the clothing and excessiveness of the snake and the mirror imply that this is also some sort of pretense and it is still just an external representation of the internal. This endless conversation between the external and internal is the underlying concept of the piece.
As a female, it is natural for me to be concerned with the external, internal, and even more importantly, how others view the external. The role of the woman is changing dramatically, and the external and internal bring to mind the kinds of ideals imprinted from society in the general populace.