Back in 2014-15 I developed a series called "Flawless" about refusing to apologize for femininity, recognizing that pretty isn't weak.
These paintings depict body-less, floating dresses with subversive titles that sought to reclaim words or phrases traditionally used to diminish women. Instead, I want to celebrate talented, strong, intelligent, confident and capable women in all forms.
I've lived in 3 different countries, and in each culture I noticed how women are judged first and foremost by their appearance, and only after that by who they are and what they are capable of doing. I paint dresses as a symbol of femininity, with bold, bright colors for strength and place them in backgrounds that I find interesting. By removing the bodies, I take away the person who can be judged on external factors like age, race, ethnicity, weight, etc.
The origin of the series title comes not from the idea of women needing to be "flawless," but rather a rebuke of this cultural norm. I was inspired by Beyoncé's song of the same title, and the speech "We Should All be Feminists" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, which I highly recommend everyone watch.
I thought I had put the series to bed when in late 2015 I moved to Los Angeles and began concentrating on my urban landscape series instead. Then, in early summer 2016 I was invited to show works from my "Flawless" series in a group show at Pilates and Arts in Echo Park, a neighborhood in LA. We titled the show "Bold Beauty," wanting it to be about "honoring the bold beauty of femininity." I made some new paintings for the show, including my largest so far, Phenomenal Woman, named after the Maya Angelou poem.
The timing of the show couldn't have been more prescient; the opening was two weeks after the election. While we had hoped the show would be a celebration of another glass ceiling being shattered, I was moved by the solidarity and sense of community I felt at the opening as people came together to support each other. It turned out to be a cathartic, festive affair. See photos from the opening here.
1) I am creating a book with my "best of" from the series. Sign up for my newsletter and/or "Like" my Facebook page to be notified of it's release.
2) While this series continues to have relevance, I think the issues I'm trying to grapple with are more complex and deserve a deeper dive. I'm getting that itchy feeling I do when I'm right on the edge of starting a new series...Flawless is morphing into something new, and I'm as curious as you to see what that looks like. Stay tuned!
Want your own original or print?
PURCHASE: go to my shop to view available originals and prints. Note: Layaway Plan available.
VIEW SHOW: contact me to setup a viewing of "Bold Beauty" at Pilates and Arts, up through January 25, 2017.