Night Fever

October 2022-April 2023

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>>>        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
Berlin, Germany
Dec 16-17

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