The Eye and the Not I
Belgian philosopher Luce Irigaray posits the paradox of the female speaker-subject becoming an agent of the masculine role of oration whenever she speaks. My art explores this same dilemma through visual language, navigating the space between my role as the artist-subject and image-object. This duality incites alienation, catalyzing the fragmentation of self that surfaces in both my representational and abstracted pieces of work. My art is a collection of bodies and faces that speak through movement, tone, line, stance and expression.When represented, the stripped body becomes a site of revulsion and eroticism, static paralysis and transformation, youth and its inevitable dissolution. I provide a renewed and personalized interpretation of traditional approaches to rendering the female. When I work with my own body, I often portray its cultural signification as object and inescapable physical tie to passivity. Just as my lived female body cannot be excised from a background dictated by histories of violence and subjugation, its two-dimensional counterpart cannot exist outside the cultural prelude of the art nude. My language being already dictated, I have worked within its framework to construct images that disrupt the way these tropes have previously been read. In what ways can I speak through illustrating my body if we are trained to assume the voyeuristic gaze when confronted with an image of the naked female? By treating the physical language of the passive sexual body bluntly and grotesquely, I imbue predetermined notions of the erotic body with a more historically masculine humanism. In my work, sex plays the role of illuminating the body’s corporeality. I am interested in the naked rather than the nude.