(Ashland, OR USA)
Toweling the Back I, Paint, 24"x36"
I am focused on creating nudes who express themselves as subjects. The 'Bathers' are nudes busy with their toilettes. They are not 'posing' in the traditional sense: the display of their naked bodies to the eye of a viewer is not their primary purpose. In this work, I take a page from Edgar Degas, who also painted nude bathers with the idea that they were 'honest simple folk unconcerned by any other interests than those involved in their physical condition.' My approach differs from his in being more intimate. A viewer is so close to the subject that he/she might identify with the nude image. As Degas put it in describing his own work, it was as though a viewer 'were looking through a keyhole'. In this way, Degas and my 'looks' are gendered: his is distanced and dominant and mine is up close and identifies with the subject. In another contemporary move, I paint males as well as females among my 'Bathers.' All are subjects of their own narratives as they care for their own bodies.