Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Internalization of Oppression... My Art

In my own art, I'm currently working on a series exploring the process and effects of the internalization of oppression. I started this a few months ago with this ink sketchy-drawing. I've finally realized that the medium I was searching for was watercolour, so I'm going to redo this this in watercolour and do a few more like it in watercolour as well. This is the sketchy thing that started it:

The figure is naked and exposed... and ashamed of her body and by the deformity she perceives in it. She is passive. I tried to show this by positioning her arms behind her and her eyes closed. The imperfect sketchy technique I used was meant to communicate distress and hysteria. But I think that will come across better in the next version, with the watercolour. I also attempted to show her mental distress in the text. I held the pen at the top when writing so as to get a shaky, unstable effect. The words "No. SHE IS NOT DISTURBED BY HER OWN WRETCHED, DEFORMED, UGLINESS." are meant to be slightly sarcastic, but mostly evoking a sense of denial. As if, even though she believes these things and believes that society expects her to accept these things, she also feels pressure to pretend like she's okay with being "ugly." She feels pressure to suffer silently and bear it as an unavoidable truth.

I plan to do other watercolour portraits in this same format to the captions "She thought she could tear the ugly away. If not, she might at least have a beautiful skeleton." (This one will be about the way the sexualization of young women encourages them to see their worth only in their beauty, and how this has the potential to lead to self-mutilation. It will be a portrait of an ambiguous girl's face with her hand on her face, ripping into her skin) and "At least her heart was not ugly, They told her. When she dug it out to see if They were right, she found it to be just as repulsive as the rest of her." (A similar theme as the previous one. This would be a girl with an open ribcage, holding her beating heart in both hands)

I've also created a collage about the internalization of oppression. This piece focuses on the various way the beauty industries lead us to self oppression, and while silencing us, also make money. These pictures of it in process, before everything was glued down. I'm currently planning how to re-mount it, because I don't think the first round was very successful.

And because I know the quality of these aren't good enough for fine details, here are some close ups:


Oh, also...

One more...

And I'll get some better, fine-detail-quality pictures up of the redone versions. For now, any critiques on these first-versions would be greatly appreciated!

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