Artist Statement for Bestiary Show Nov 2016: Hope and Monsters “Did anyone ask the minotaur?” In this whimsical version of “Bestiary”, I used the allegorical history of the word to reimagine a more modern narrative using fictional characters from the Greek repertoire. The Minotaur was born from an unsavory union between a bull and a scorned queen that is forced by the gods into carnal animal longings because of her husband’s discretions. Then, cast into the labyrinth alone, the Minotaur’s only social interactions are being starved and fed every 7 years through sacrifice and people trying to kill him, until he is ultimately slain. Historically, the little girl symbolized hope and innocence. Always calm stoic and static and largely inactive, Hope is pushed on a pedestal and never really seen doing anything except looking demur and sweet.
Being a fan of the underdog, and a mother, I couldn’t help but sympathize with the minotaur, imagining that perhaps if Hope was a little less static and more proactive that the minotaur’s fate could have been slightly more positive. Who really are the monsters here?
Of course this whole metaphor came out of trying to deal with our current political climate. I want Hope to prevail. The Minotaur has also symbolized the monstrous unknown of our own human/ animal nature. I want to empathize with our/my monsters. I want to insert Hope into our fears and examine our perception of what constitutes “monsters”.
In an effort to reinforce Hope’s influence, I chose a light and whimsical color pallet. I wanted to create a world that offered possibility and play. Brush strokes, color, environment are intentionally kept loose, open, light and carefree and fun. I want hope to win.
Artist Statement for Figure show May 2016 The human body is infinitely fascinating. The subtle ways we interact, are intimate and move through the world will always be an endless resource for my work. For my technical focus in this series of paintings, I drew from a more classical Renaissance color palette. I was mostly influenced by the color schemes used by Caravaggio. Other than color palette, what unifies these pieces came from my observations of play, family, and leisure. For example, in the two smaller paintings “Pinkie” and “Blue Boy” I reimagined the popular Gainsborough and Lawrence paintings; imagining today’s contemporaries with an up to date twist. And what drove this work philosophically are my feelings that we (humans) are at our best when we play. I am often overwhelmed by what is happening in the world and by the choices we are making in the way we treat each other. In my other profession, I see how our choices as a society, play out for our children. I spend many hours talking about what is happening, with young people trying to find their place in this world. This is a daunting task. Perhaps these pieces represent a kind of focusing inward on what gives me hope and solace. Children and young people show us our best selves and possibilities, when we look. I feel this may be my most cohesive body of work to date and appreciate the opportunity to share it with you.