Interweaving memory, autobiography and history, my mixed media work explores the awkward terrain of the developing stages in forming a sense of personhood. Through amorphous, hybrid characters, I create a fictional, coming of age narrative that brings up complicated notions of identity, gender, sexuality and the psychology of self-discovery. These works include amalgamations of femininity that are a mass of limbs, pigtails, ribbons and dresses that activate a world in which the South, domestic interiors and magical realism collide. Through a cartoon vernacular, my work utilizes alluring, bold colors and refiguration to provide a universal platform in which the viewer relates to the work through nostalgia. Characters engage in “play” that borders between violence, innocence and grotesque misfortune in sparse and symbolic spaces on their quest for self. The world of my paintings not only transports and engages the viewer through the use of skewed perspective and not-quite-right content but also disrupts the exhibition space through the use of installation components.
My practice – in both subject matter and studio preparation – is responsive to notions of race and cultural difference, and is defined by a unique relationship to the body. Utilizing my archive of completed paintings and drawings, I source my own work to create new images through a regenerative collage process where old work is re-contextualized into something new. Elements of my work are relief-based and three-dimensional by incorporating found objects and constructed paint skins which collage the surface of the paintings.
In my most recent series, I have begun creating unframed monumental collage installations in which my mythology of ribbons, legs, shoes, pigtails, dresses and other symbols are collaged and adhered directly to the wall. By recreating symbols prevalent in my work over the past five years through the use of various printmaking methods such as silkscreening, monoprinting and collograph printmaking, I engage directly in a form of play that employs the use of my entire body. This process of collaging disparate and homogenous elements is used as a metaphor for the ways in which our identities develop and how our environment influences who we become. Contemplating Claymation, Indian and Persian miniatures, and Baroque architecture and textiles, my work fuses the conventions of comics and cartoons with history and middle class domesticity to thwart the burden of realism.
updated as of July 2015