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Writing an Artists Statement

1. Describe your work.


My work is a mixed media self portrait about the materiality of
femininity and its direct correlation with identity.
2. What is the statement that you are trying to make with
your work?
The statement I am trying to make with my work is about the
materiality of the gender roles. The reality is that being a girl is much
more than having specific sexual organs, it means that you are placed
in a category or box. Your placement in this box signifies that people
expect you to be interested in specific things, have certain
characteristics, and have different expectations for your place in the
world around you. This piece is specifically about the materials that go
into the everyday life of a girl.
3. What were your influences when making the work?
The expectations of me having been born and having associated
my gender as female, mean very specific things to me. I was
raised by my eccentric Grandmother, a woman named Madonna
who spent most of her life (besides a brief time modeling and
attending the Art Institute) in a role of domesticity. She spent
most of her formative years attending to her father and brothers
after her mother died young while doing laundry, something that
she has picked up as a symbolic ritual in her everyday life. After
that, she jumped into marriage and attended to her husband and
six children, eventually adding my older sister and me onto the
list. Now that she is older and does not have to spend her time
taking care of others, I see her struggling with free time because
shes never had enough time to think about herself and what
makes her happy. I find a certain type of strength in the women
who take on the traditional roles of women in domestic setting
because my grandmother is the most giving person I have met.
Yet, I have always found myself fighting against the roles that
were forced upon her and everyone who was born as a female. I
think in a sense this is because I want to be able to say that I am
who I am at the end of the day when the makeup and the mask
of what is expected of me is removed.
4. How did you use the elements within the work to make
that statement?
For this piece I used mixed media, incorporating eye shadow, ribbon,
pink tissue paper, permanent marker, and watercolor. The use of
medium, especially eye shadow, ribbon, and pink tissue paper, reflects
the materiality of gender in many different ways. The use of pink tissue
paper is meant to reflect gender associations with colors and the false
notion that women are frail creatures. Eye shadow was used because it

Writing an Artists Statement


is used as a means to paint ones face, similar to that of a mask. I do
love makeup and I believe there is a certain ritual sense in a woman
putting makeup on her face. But in a sense I also am iffy about the use
of makeup, because it can be used as a mask that either can transform
a woman into that of a warrior or can be used to hide oneself. Meaning
that I do not think there is anything wrong with a woman putting
makeup on her face and feeling more confident about the way she
looks. However, when it starts to diminish the way she feels about her
natural beauty or the way others perceive her is when I think makeup
can hinder someones perception about themselves and I think theres
something dangerous about that. Lastly, I used ribbon and hand curled
each piece to symbolize the process of a woman doing her hair (which
for me takes at least a half hour when I choose to do it due to having
very curly hair). I think there is something about the use of everyday
materials in the life of a female that says something about how she
perceives herself/her identity and herself in the world around her that
has always been intriguing to me.
5. How does your work reflect the work of the artists we
studied?
My work reflects that of Ray Johnson by incorporating the use of
multiple materials. However, it more so reflects the work of Mel
Keiser through themes of gender roles. Keisers work is about
trying to figure herself out, who she is, and what she calls the
essence of her identity. This specific piece is about who I am
when specific mateirals pertaining to gender roles and identity
are placed upon me by literally overlaying and entwining them
with a drawing of my own face.