My painting practice is strongly influenced by my ongoing interest in fashion advertising and its tendency to present female bodies as decorative objects. These images capitalize on a common stereotype that connotes women with flowers; so often the simple combination of a woman’s face and a single rose can form the entirety of a perfume ad. There’s humor in this simplification, yet any form of extreme distillation has an inherent violence. I use painting as a means to explore my own complicity in a visual culture that consumes images of women but disregards their individual complexity.
In my recent work I have utilized imagery pulled from 19th century still life paintings, namely those by artist Henri Fantin-Latour. His floral still lifes are sumptuously painted and invite consumption by their viewer. By copying individual flowers from his compositions and incorporating them into my paintings I seek to replicate this invitation of consumption, and to play with the idea of flowers being symbols of femininity. However, by combining the flowers with disruptive elements—either formal disruptions like a drip or a blur, or conceptual disruptions like the incorporation of a figure—I seek to complicate the easy consumability of the flowers and to explore my own ambivalence regarding what they represent.