My Body, of Work

Hello dear readers! I am terribly sorry, but my Etsy store opening has been postponed due to recent events:

I am very pleased to announce that I have been accepted to my first school choice, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago; from which I have been awarded a very generous merit scholarship.  With the addition of federal loan money, I will be attending a top private school for a bit less than a state university would cost me. Fuck yes! To honor the achievement, I have decided to share my award winning portfolio and artist statement. Enjoy!

28 Days Later
Oil on Canvas
2 Panels – 5”x7”
2010

3 Menstrual Pads
Oil on Canvas
12”x12”
2010

Bed Sheet Lifts
Oil on Canvas
3 Panels – 8”x10”
2010

Bed Sheets
Oil on Canvas
3 Panels – 8”x10”
2010

Crochet Vaginas
Yarn
2”x1” Each
2010


Googly Eyed Vaginas
Fiji Transfers
4 panels – 3.25” x 4.25”
2011

Body Scan (With Bra)
Cyanotype on Fabric
13”x19”
2010

Body Scans (Without Bra)
Cyanotype on Fabric
2 Panels – 18”x21”
2010

Crochet Bikinis
Yarn
S, M, L Sizes
2010

Crochet bikini #2
Oil Pastel on Wood
12”x24”
2010

Artist Statement:
My mother died just before I went into puberty. As a result, I was left to the media and my peers to try to figure out what a woman could be. Instead I learned what a woman was supposed to be. I found the disconnection between the two to be really quite funny. My work shows this conflict through the juxtaposition of fine, well-crafted, depictions of the female body vs. a satirical representation of it. Thus making my work poignant, yet not overly political.

Unmentionable objects, such as menstrual pads, transform into subjects that become oddly beautiful. From gently folded bed sheets emerges the image of a vulva. Googly eyes are placed onto vulvas to make them less frightening, or even cute. Crocheted bikinis represent clothing’s function to cover the form, but the addition of nipples and pubic hair show what is intended to be hidden. As women have gained equality, they no longer fulfill traditional roles in the home, so some previously valued domestic skills such as crocheting are becoming lost arts. My use of crochet laments what feminism has lost, while celebrating what it has gained.

I reinforce my ideas across multiple media and with the use of repetition. The importance of tactile quality is seen through various protruding folds and stretch marks, often printed on or including fabric materials. This portfolio is arranged to flow from menstruation to the vagina and further still to the whole female body. These pieces are extremely personal and generally small, as to draw the viewer in for a closer look, thus giving my work a quiet intimacy or even a voyeuristic quality.

Through this body of work, the grotesque becomes beautiful, what is generally admired becomes distorted, the taboo becomes ordinary, and reality deconstructs into a variety of possible interpretations. All of this leaves the viewer to imagine, if this representation of womanhood is true, what are women truly capable of achieving?

Crochet Nude Suits

About two years ago I decided to try and crochet something a bit harder than a scarf when an idea popped into my head:

Several nude suits, custom made for each individual. I created them in a “freeform style”, meaning that I didn’t use any patterns and I didn’t write anything down. I just crocheted! Needless to say, this drastically improved my crochet skills. I actually made about 9 of them in only 2 weeks.

My models and I began joking about all the places we could wear them, however, they stayed in their boxes for several months. In the beginning of 2011 I got an opportunity to show off what I had made – my friends and I were going to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. I knew I had to break my suit out!

Here I am, Mardi Gras 2011:

I had so much fun running around the streets of the French Quarter half nude, and got a ton of beads without having to (actually) show anything.

The following year we decided to step things up a bit and I made new ones for all three of us…

Mardi Gras 2012:

Here they are in action:

The best part was seeing everyone’s reactions:

I wanted to take full advantage of my time on Bourbon Street, so while my friends rested inside a bar, I went out on my own to show off my handiwork:

I’m not sure how these will develop, where they will take me, or where I will wear them. One thing is for sure – they will be seen in public again.