Sunday, February 19, 2012

Draft 2 of Artist Statement

Same ideas presented, but it reads a little better. I believe I'm getting close to a satisfying conclusion with this one.

Chloe York

Artist Statement: Draft 2

My current body of work explores my fascination with putting on makeup, skin and hair treatments, padded bras, and uncomfortable high heeled shoes to obtain an appearance that is deemed pleasing to a broad, general eye. I consider this practice a form of self-defense against those who would form opinions about me based on a narrow set of socially prescribed images of the ideal woman in television, magazines, and movies.

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 flattened and depthless aesthetic discourages the desire to spend an extended amount of time looking at the piece, while the repetitive details within each simple shape 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 many of us have been led to believe.

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