Denied Realities


Denied Realities explores how individual experience gets reinterpreted in favor of what is culturally normal and convenient. My starting point for this investigation is the feminine experience, and I use the visual language of beauty as an allegory to explore women’s secondary cultural status. Executed in reverse on acrylic glass, my paintings depict atmospheric collisions, texturally full of emotion, but rendered in a saccharine palette. Sweeps of gold are squeegeed onto the hard surface of the work, emphasizing my painting surface as a barrier. Words like “NO”, “FUCK”, and “STOP” can be seen scrawled in reverse at certain angles, but at most points fade into a shiny illegible flourish. This creates a contradiction that leans one way: in using beauty to illustrate emotion, it becomes softened, even pleasant. And that’s because the standard by which we measure women, and by which so many women measure themselves, is ultimately valued in our culture as something shallow. I see this body of work as metaphor for the lens typical “women’s” issues are often viewed through. For example, eating disorders are issues of self-esteem, pay inequality is based only on merit, sexual harassment is an accusation of an opportunist, she said "no" (or nothing) but really meant yes, etc. The individual experience becomes a female experience, and is instantly generalized into oblivion.