My current practice focuses on abstracting representations of the female body and negotiating the objectification, pleasure, power, and violence embedded in image-making. Working on paper, panel and canvas, I create mixed media paintings and collages that investigate feminist narratives through the use of texture, color, mark-making, and pornographic imagery. The works, different at first glance, are connected through the conceptual underpinning of the abject, abused and physical body. Abstraction,, materiality, and ferocious use of color connect the works across mediums.

The paintings are void of the recognizable figure. Instead obfuscated body parts such as genitals, eyes, mouths and hands are juxtaposed against old clothes,painting rags and discarded canvas, then embedded into oil paint layered with gold leaf, tarlatan, and burlap to build levels of rough tactile surfaces. I mix paint with mediums and wax to alter consistency and build opacity. The paint is laid on thick with spatulas, knives, and brushes. The viscosity and wetness creates a grotesque and complex skin referencing the body. This fleshy consistency is interrupted by graphic spray-painted marks disrupting the thick surface. I scrape entire paintings down and rework them, creating a painted palimpsest.

In the collages, I cut and reconstruct photographs from 1970s Playboy and EasyRider magazines, juxtaposing them with images from contemporary beauty publications. Drawing and painting over the photos creates an abstract visual language which challenges the routine production of sexualized female bodies for mass consumption. Through my dynamic interventions, the manipulation of the female body for pleasure is made evident and, at the same time, confronted and stripped of its primary power. Through my resituating of these images, the performance of femininity is deconstructed at the very moment the body reveals itself as abject. Vintage imagery illustrates a different expectation of beauty from today’s standard of hyper-perfection achieved through plastic surgery and photo-retouching.

The conceptual and emotional story is told through both the collages and mixed media paintings.Together the multi-prong approach of my creative practice melds the physical act of deconstruction and expression. Challenging notions of femininity through the use of symbolic color, bold marks, and the reconstructing of image and surface.