I’ve begun evaluating my own imagery, considering themes and concepts that appear repeatedly throughout my art. I highly encourage (and prefer) people viewing my work to find their own interpretations unique to them. This allows them the freedom to identify with each piece on their own terms based on their own ideologies and experiences—ultimately that is the result I strive for with me work.
However, this exercise has also been very helpful to me, permitting me to grow more as an artist by becoming more in tune with how my emotions, convictions and thoughts cleverly make their way into my art. I work through intuition. I save or buy (or pick up off the street) anything that feels like it may have a future use in my work. Some things I’ve had for, honestly, over 10 years before they find a home in a piece of art. Other items only last a week. Since most of my work is instinctual, I’ve learned a lot by forcing myself to consciously examine the imagery I frequently use.
An explanation of imagery and themes often used in my work:
Lips: Women’s lips intrigue me, they can have a subtle yet captivating allure or blatant sexual implications. Either way, that particular part of the body strikes me as beautifully feminine.
Lips are also iconic of speech and communication. Of course, communication has its own sets of implications and associations. Relating back to gender and feminist themes, women often struggle to be heard or taken seriously in male-dominated professional work places. Our concerns are often not taken as seriously as men’s. And then, we circle back to the innate conflict of being viewed as a sexual object versus being taken seriously as a full, well-rounded equal.
Skulls/skeletons: I used to hate skeletons and skulls. I thought they were creepy with no real aesthetic appeal for anyone–except maybe pirates and bikers? However, I’ve learned the errors of my ways. After drawing model skeletons and skulls for studies in life drawing class during college, I began to greatly appreciate the eerie and slightly unnerving beauty of human bones. Much like the classic use of memento mori throughout art history. I like the lingering reminder that we are merely human and our lives, time and impact on this earth are transitory. However, I choose to use this theme in a much more contemporary form.