During my third semester at grad school, I focused on deconstructing paintings as a way to interrogate the traditional notion of painting through the manipulation of imagery, substrates, and frames. I wanted to parody qualities of a painting that are most undesirable – a warped frame and a loose canvas – calling attention to the “objectness” of a painting, which is often overlooked in favor of the image it conveys.
I learned how to steam bend wood and I used that technique on the stretcher bars of old paintings. I created a variety of wood armatures this way and investigated formats for exhibiting canvas from them. The final wall installations that I created are modular and can be adjusted to fit different venues.
I'm also curious about Fragonard's popular painting, "The Swing" and tried to emulate its gestures and visual decadence. The layers of petticoats led me to cut up my paintings and sew them into organic forms representing body parts and/or landscapes.
I often incorporate flowers into my work because of their associations with femininity, purity, beauty, and decorum. By converting floral paintings into soft sculpture forms, I aim to be hyperbolic and visually aggressive with their presentation, sometimes confrontational, unexpected, and absurd.
The first two semesters of grad school had me thinking about European art history the 16th and particularly 17th Century Dutch Flower paintings. I made several personal narratives that referenced famous works of art as a way of reframing the inherent patriarchal gaze over landscapes and women's bodies.