Side notes >>>
>>> The Known Parts
In this work I layered a transparent portrait of someone with a bookshelf behind them. We accrue knowledge over time, and that knowledge is both a source of power and a limiting force. We begin to categorize things and filter the world through preconceived notions, assumptions.
The size of each of the boxes in the grid is also the size of the blue window. The unknown outside the window, the night sky, is just as relevant as any "known" we think we have pinned down in our life.
The person reading in the dark background could also be the person in the gridded portrait, or they could be someone they live with. Ambiguity is important in my work; I want the work to be open enough to let a viewer in.
>>> Chainlink Support Coils
This painting features two people laying next to each other. One person is painted in warm, neutral colors and looking at the person across from them (they are also looking the viewer). The other person has their back turned to the viewer and is filled up mostly with cold, bright cerulean paint. The pattern running across them could be a chainlink fence or a mattress. The ambiguity of whether it's a hard barrier or a soft place mirrors the feelings in the relationship between the people. Is this person able to love? There is some overlap of crimson on the blue person's head and shoulder -- perhaps the warm person is able to slowly melt away the chainlink fence barrier between them.
>>> Bent Back Behind Wall
The left side of the painting shows a woman in a backbend with a shirt falling over her head.
The woman is stuck in a backbend, a difficult position to hold for even 3 seconds; in the painting, she must hold uphold impossible expectations – bending over backwards for others’ sake – forever. In the background, a rose seemingly sticks up into the small of her back as if it is forcing the backbend (the rose: a symbol of beauty, a pressure, a redirecting force).
On the right side, a mirror reflects a dark red room with a person in bed looking at the woman bending her back.
Between them is a wall; embedded within the wall are yellow brushstrokes that mimic the curve of the backbend. I imagine these curving yellow lines as the repetition of the woman bending back again and again, pressing the gesture into the memory of the wall. By combining realistic depictions with abstraction, my work values both the known and the unknown of someone’s experience, the seen and the felt.
>>> Insistent Rib (etching):
A rib cage layers over top of a portrait of a woman while the fingertips of a hand block part of her face from view. The frazzled mark making in the rib cage also mimics a nervous system. I think about how the body holds memories in ways we cannot always process consciously, but sometimes we can listen to ourselves for a gut feeling. The rib cage is a recurrent image in my work, and I don't know why, but I will write with my gut.
My mother experienced rib pain for months before going to the doctor who found her liver enlarged, pressing up against her ribs: liver cancer. Liver cancer is not usually detectable so in most cases, patients die within a year or two of its detection. My mother was treated quickly and underwent chemo and radiation. She is alive and well today, with cancer still lodged in her liver, but not growing, dormant for now.
I thank her rib cage ringing its quiet alarm.
I thank my rib cage for keeping me upright, protecting my body.
The rib cage's protection includes open space, allowing the world to seep in and out of a body. It is impossible to enclose ourselves and seal off tragedy. The rib cage knows how to protect while staying open and vulnerable.
I celebrate the fragile, porous nature of the rib cage's protection of my mother, of me, in this work.
Through You series installed
GlogauAIR Open Studios