ABOUT THE ARTIST
I am an 19-year-old, large scale oil painter. My sizeable portraits reflect my thoughts concerning the challenges and stereotypes that I have been exposed to as a young female. I am distraught over the pressures and expectations thrown upon teenage girls in our society. And, while I am a member of a community that strongly encourages the pursuits of my generation of capable young women, over-sexualization is inevitably woven into our social climate. The continual discussion of women in today's society has emphasized their roles in popular culture as well, ranging in apparent value with varying forms of sex appeal. I have transferred this along with my feelings of powerless frustration into my artwork. Each of my portraits tells a story, and with my use of large canvases, vibrant colors, and visual effect, I catch people's attention. The clarity of my artwork has become the way my voice stands out in a community of strongly opinionated people.
Where do we belong? What are we supposed to be? Who are we, as a collective group, as individuals?
Speaking as not only an artist but as a female, we’re living in a time when these questions must be posed and contrasted with the handfuls of expectations, bigotry, contradictions, accountability (and so on) that our society has branded as ours. And that leaves us with even more questioning – How can we balance the desire to express our femininity and often sexuality, while maintaining and furthering all that we’ve worked for to this point as women? I paint to raise my voice, and explore the potential of equality. I aim to make my portraits as large as my message and take a stand as a voice of my generation.
My paintings are a way to take the experiences that undermine young women, that shake their confidence and ultimately limit dreams and aspirations, and turn them into a message of power, optimism and comfort. Rather than downgrading female sexuality and after movements such as #MeToo, I want my work to embrace and celebrate these vital qualities. Drawing inspiration from female cultural icons, especially those of the past, I seek to modernize the ideas that made them icons to begin with.
We have built ourselves upon notions handed to us that target our idea of self-worth and potential. In reality, we are built upon ourselves and ourselves alone. We are as strong as the power we give ourselves, which ultimately, is limitless. My art allows me to become a catalyst for understanding and progress in my community. Through my work, I want to capture these emotions with brushstrokes – bold, defiant hues, illuminated, towering subjects – then I could help to empower these women again, bring these issues to light, and advocate for change.
Catching inspiration when it is thrown at me is not the difficult part. There is inspiration flooding each and every inch of this world. The difficulties lie in channeling exactly what needs to be changed through the expressions of my subjects, and to create a narrative that will stand any test of any time through any movement. Painting is no longer the hobby of a teenager, but the start of a dialogue that has no ending.