Issues surrounding femininity and set standards of normalcy, propriety and societal expectation inform my work. In this body of work, I challenge conventional standards of beauty, power, aging and class. The work is further influenced by vintage horror movies that deal with modern everyday insecurities and current films like Boxing Helena. The Chanel series is comprised of three life-size ceramic women seated in chairs. These pastel colored, cosmetically enhanced women sit and pose in Chanel suits with large, elaborate coiffures. These “ladies who lunch” live in a world where the line between youth and old age is blurred.
From the Chanel series, Big Hair emerged. Big Hair is comprised of three armless, legless sculptures in the form of mannequin bodies or dress forms that hold up heads with enormous vintage hairstyles. Casting aside the traditional terms, “bust” or “torso”, these sculptures are referred to as “stumps”. Their gaze is unapologetic, even through hair that hides the ability to see. These limbless forms have detachable heads that reference the santos doll or “saint” figures from the Spanish speaking Americas. In both series, a uniform color palette (a signifier for the colors of Chanel) is used as a formal device on the textural surface of the figure and the modeled surface of the clothing and hair.
I ask the questions…what is considered beautiful as one ages? How do woman empower or dis-empower themselves through cosmetic enhancement? How do power and beauty relate to women in a patriarchal world? What is the cultural significance of the Chanel suit to woman of this present era? When does a woman’s beauty quest surpass in significance her ability and need to be capable?