|The Nude in the 21st Century|
First Place Award
"Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth."
Self-awareness is a dangerous thing. It requires an intense study of one's own motives and passions, painting a picture of yourself that is often jarringly different than "who you thought you were".
We all want to connect. We all want to be loved. We want it so badly that we will go to great lengths to persuade the people around us that we are who they want us to be. But if you change yourself just a little to suit each person, who are you really? Who are you when you are alone? Technology has given us a world in which we need never be alone. The way you portray yourself becomes less genuine the more aware you are of an audience, and through social networking such as facebook and twitter your audience is in constant attendance. In such a situation it is difficult not to play to the crowd, and in the process lose sight of who you are when the performance is over and the audience goes home.
As our culture becomes more obsessed with this "performance" I feel compelled to step away and delve into myself. One's identity can and should evolve, but without a true picture of myself how could I move forward without losing that identity completely? This body of work is the result of my continuing search for that true picture. Drawing on many art-historical and religious themes I wanted to paint my subjects in that moment of self-examination. Do they continue into the depths of their own psyches and risk getting lost or turn back and continue the performance, even if it isn't true? The figures are alone, each lost in the world of his or her own mind seeking to answer the eternal question "who am I?"
"Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth", a seemingly impossible task that, if successful, usually ends by breaking them.