The human form is one of the most varied and complex subjects to make art about. There is so much variation and subtle nuance from person to person that though the basic anatomy stays similar no two people are truly the same. However, people as a whole do not think of the diversity among individual parts, the arms, the legs, the fingers and the like, or think of these shapes as structures unto themselves. My work is about taking those pieces and separating them from the context of the human body. By recontextualizing these sections, I hope to have the viewer rethink their body not as one whole, but view it as a sum of parts.
I am inspired and draw influences from artists such as Pierre Paul Prudhon, Jonathan Payne’s Fleshlettes series, and H.R. Giger. Giger in particular has had a profound impact on my work, as the way that he reuses the human body to create a sense of unease, making the body into something architectural and inorganic in his work fascinates me. I also look at modern day ads that use the naked body as a provocative way to sell products. This way of using the form and drawing attention to certain areas creates a de-humanization of the person. In a sense, like in the fashion industry, the model is closer to a piece of furniture or a wall on which to hang the clothing. The audience looks at how the dress looks on the model, not on how the model wears the dress. The focus is not on the person themselves, but on how the work hangs on them. I try to recreate this transformation of a human being into what amounts to a lump of flesh in my own work.
I focus on individual body parts, such as the feet or torso, and draw them over and over, usually in large piles. I do this as a way to take the form as far from a human body as possible, giving them an abstract and alien quality. As my work has evolved, it has become just as much an exploration of my own person and how I view it as it is an exploration of the form overall. I have over the years come to terms with certain “flaws” and characteristics I have been denying or looking to ignore. By modeling my body parts in charcoal, I can select the parts I focus on, and give them new meaning to myself and others. Recently I have begun working in oil pastel and on a more modest scale. My goal remains to make the audience feel less familiar with their body using non local colors.
My work appeals to those looking for the strange and abstract as well as viewers who want a new way of looking at the familiar human form. I draw the attention of these people by a use of a large scale, which demands the attention of the viewer even from across the room.