Artist Statement

Since my early childhood, I've been forming my dreams of adulthood from the media: fashion magazines, television, and movies. My work is a rejection of these messages that led me to believe that I would attain happiness if only I could achieve this physical perfection. Whether the means are girdles, padded bras, and make-up, or constant aerobics, incessant dieting and plastic surgery, the result is always the dream image of the new you. Images all around us lure us into believing in this transformation myth. After the image of femininity is presented by the media as the ultimate achievement hundreds of times a day, the woman masks and corsets herself into that image and worships herself as beauty. Many times she may cease to see the reality of her body -- she may believe herself to be fat when she is actually starving, or become preoccupied with certain features (such as breasts or stomach) to the point where she no longer sees herself as a total person, but as a hideously noticeable body part that doesn't fit society's current standard. She may spend hours scrutinizing herself in front of the mirror, convincing herself that she can hide the problem with cosmetics or clothes. Many of the models I've worked with have suffered from this feeling about some part of their body.

Rather than dwell on societys standards of beauty, or on the obsessions that many women succumb to, I am making images of women who do not fit the current norm, who are in the process of finding strength in their individuality. I choose poses for my figures which are indicative of a quiet confidence, rather than those which emphasize the seductive curves of the female form.The important difference between my figures and many other depictions of the unclothed female is summed up by John Berger in Ways of Seeing:

To be naked is to be oneself. To be nude is to be seen naked by others and yetnot recognized for oneself. A naked body has to beseen as an object in order to become a nude.To be naked is to be without disguise. To be on display is to have the surface of onesown skin, the hairs of ones own body, turned into adisguise which, in that situation, can never be discarded.

My figures are not posing for the benefit of a viewer. There is no unspoken understanding that the figures are responding to us, the viewers, or anyone else. They are naked, not nude.