My first creative love and perhaps proudest life achievement to date, Beautiful Monsters, my 2011 honors thesis art show at Sewanee: The University of the South. The show consisted of large scale oil paintings and digitally printed collages, addressing my love/hate relationship with fashion advertising. Read more about Beautiful Monsters below.
About Beautiful Monsters:
I have always been interested in the power advertising holds. Ads are initially made to sell a product, however, their deeper purpose is to sell an idea: if you are this person, your life will be better. This is a highly seductive idea and we fall prey to it. No industry takes advantage of this potential to influence more than the fashion world. It feeds on female insecurity and bombards women with “better” versions of themselves, which they should strive to become.
Alternatively, today in the 21st century women are encouraged to be strong and independent, able to be and achieve whatever we can imagine. I struggle daily with my love-hate relationship with the fashion industry and its influence over my perception of my ideal self. This body of work draws from that struggle.
Using fashion advertisements I have collected since my teens as source material, I manipulate the idealized images of women within them using photocopy, collage, digital editing and paint. The resulting works contain highly mutated figures, built from women repeated, broken down, rebuilt and, ultimately, recontextualized. The figures I create are monstrous and strange, yet they are still intriguing in their otherness. In this way I depict my own love-hate relationship with this phenomenon, by creating these beautiful monsters.