Sunday, February 12, 2012

Draft 1 of Artist Statement

This pretty much encompasses the work I'm doing right now and the direction I wish to keep going in. Since this is only my first draft, I will probably come in with many changes, but for now, I'm pretty happy with where this is going.

Chloe York
Artist Statement: Draft 1

As a young woman constantly exposed to various images of the “ideal” woman in television, magazines, and movies, I constantly battle with my self-image, striving to obtain an appearance that is deemed pleasing to a broad, general eye. As a result, my current body of work explores my fascination with putting on makeup, skin and hair treatments, padded bras, and uncomfortable high heeled shoes in order to remove these doubts I have about my looks. I consider this practice to be a form of self-defense. 

Compared to other species, humans display fears about personal appearance in ways that no other creature does, but I do see similarities in the desire of animals to camouflage and defend themselves from predators and to alter their appearance in order to attract a mate. One such creature is the decorator crab. When threatened, the decorator crab collects bits of its surroundings like vegetation, coral, and smaller organisms and covers its entire body, camouflaging itself. Inspired by this creature’s practice and my love/hate relationship with altering my own appearance, I paint stylized, androgynous human figures that are almost unrecognizable with all the oceanic patterns and forms covering their bodies. 

To convey the idea of self-defense on the painting surface itself, I use complementary color palettes and strong detail work to play with the viewer’s eye and the use of flat acrylic paint handling on the surface allows the patterns and shapes to play against each other all the more. This aesthetic discourages the desire to spend a large amount of time looking at the piece, while the strong details aid in leading the viewer’s eye around the figure’s body and its environment. The surface is inviting, but also confusing and tumultuous, challenging the idea that decorating oneself is as advantageous as I have been led to believe. 

                                                                                                                                          -Chloe York

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