The fluidity of identity as a concept is a constant journey for me, as a person, and as an artist. Paradoxically, it is the root that sustains my interest in portraiture. The societal concept of identity is also continually in flux, as the definitions of gender, race, age, geography, culture and socioeconomic status are mixed, blurred, inverted and dismantled.
Portraiture has significant meaning within the context of art history. It is indubitably a record of the growth of humanity and our movement through time. In addition to this, one of the most imperative functions of portraiture is to increase our capacity for understanding and empathy for each other. A portrait allows us to search through another’s face and look longer than would be normally, socially acceptable. The language of the intuitive and nonverbal starts the silent conversation we have with ourselves about our own assumptions and biases, within the context of history, thus far. The development of this language holds the potential for emotional awareness and self-directed evolution, one portrait at a time.
Through the interpretation of the human form and individual likeness, I am interested in participating in the dissection of the externally determined identity and increasing the awareness of the beautifully complex, internally determined one. The path to such conversations is laid out for me in each image, through the process of unraveling my own definitions of technique, material and form within the genres of painting, drawing and printmaking.
Resilience During Quarantine
A reflection from Gypsy
“I grew up in the woods, off the grid and had a very physical childhood. I am no stranger to hard work, so I know how to be physically resilient, but this year I struggled to be emotionally resilient. To maintain and grow my personal relationships and adjust to shared space, travel restrictions and physical distancing has required an immense amount of emotional fluidity. A skill I regarded as well developed within myself, or so I thought.
The title of my current exhibition is Fluid: An Exploration of Identity. Simply stated, the definition of Fluid is a substance that has no fixed shape and yields easily to external pressure. All of my paintings hold examples of fluid physical attributes. However, in a human being, fluidity is actually a psychological and emotional ability, more than a physical state.
Our labeled, categorized identity is often formed by external, societal standards and norms and our actual, personal identity is formed through internal experience, so by this assessment, we all exist in a fluid state, constantly fluctuating between the two concepts. The emotional impact that this has on someone is immeasurable. Really, only ever known by the individual. The more fluidity one must exercise, the more energy is expended, the more emotionally and psychologically taxing it can be. To endure, navigate, mature and master this internal dialogue, with grace and wit intact, is the definition of resilience.”