Painting (Winter 2020)

Project 2, Artist Statement:
 
I originally wanted to do a project that touched based on the female body and its form but after struggling with my original idea, I completely changed where I was going. I decided that I wanted to incorporate a vulva into the piece along with making a strong statement or something that left the viewer thinking. I decided to do a few different things to get a web of meanings tied into my painting. I started with a black fabric background with a base followed by a sheer, almost sparkly, pale peach colored fabric. I put a light pink fabric in the middle to form the vulva. The overall idea for the project was to isolate the key body part that people (typically cisgender, heterosexual men) see when they look at a (cisgender) woman. Societally speaking, men tend to see women as sex objects instead of who they are. I kind of envisioned a woman, going to a party in her lace dress, being “prey” to men who just see her as a sexual object. I used pale yellow for the facial outlines to kind of “shine through” the lace to show that it’s important to see a woman for who she is and not for her body parts. I imagined, as well, that the 2 faces, facing away from each other, were representative of the different sides of women that we don’t always see. I kept it vague because of the brief attention that men pay to women’s faces before noticing her body. I also enjoyed using the sheer fabric as a base because I think it’s showing how beautiful the other parts of women are besides their “sexual” parts. Lastly, I painted over the vulva with layers of different reds and pinks to create a little more distinction. Putting the vulva in the middle of my painting was intentional, as I hoped to make that the first thing someone sees looking at my piece. It gives a similar experience to the way a man looks at a woman walking into a room in a revealing dress. As someone who identifies as non-binary but was assigned female at birth, I still face some of this objectifying looks from men. I hope that this piece is able to touch base on the unfortunate societal views we have on women. I tend to find beauty in all types of bodies regardless of size, shape, color, gender, etc., and I love being able to put that in my work. I’ve done quite a few nude or close to nude projects and most of them speak against societal norms. Even if my point doesn’t come completely across, knowing that there is this deep meaning and something that may leave people with questions is something I take pride in within my work. I enjoyed working on this piece although I’ve had enough of staple guns as I stapled through my finger and ending up in the ER while working on the first layer of fabric. (Don’t worry, you can laugh.)
being a goof with my painting 🙂

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