We Didn't Come Here To Be Pretty
Works in progress. Show opening entitled LEVELING will open March 17th, 2018 at the Novado Gallery.
WE DIDN'T COME HERE TO BE PRETTY.
It Started Long Ago.
We didn’t come here to be pretty, however we women all feel pushed by society to transform into objects of desire until we realize we didn’t come here to be pretty. At that moment our guard drops and reveals inner feelings of frustration, strength, anger, resignation, and so many other emotions I intend to capture for this show’s paintings.
It Started Long Ago and for me it was recently triggered again by Olive Jane Goodin's portrait from 1910. I have been dying to paint Olive since her great granddaughter dropped off a photo taken in 1910 in Jamaica to me. I was told that the young woman wearing a heavy manly coat and a giant garish bow didn't want to come to the States and I sought to convey her strikingly unsmiling resentment. Once finished I felt a deep ache to paint more women in this vein. As I researched various old photo libraries (particularly the Farm Security Administration's Record of how America struggled through the Great Depression) I was struck by the seemingly never-ending struggle of fellow women against the constant system of marginalization. A lot of us are enablers, some of us gain from this battle, if only for for a minute, and some have been enabled by the fight: for we all have moments when we are done being pretty.
It's a complex conversation coming to the forefront. I don't know if these ladies were victims, enablers or fighters. I do feel they are fed up with the eternal oppression running generations and I share their desire to be free of the farce of ‘pretty’, especially the guilt of our complicity. Letting down that guard is not surrender, but an act of rebellion depicting that deep-rooted historic resentment and submission to the projections of society versus who we really are.