Boldini’s “Lady Admiring a Fan” in the Danakil Depression
2011, Oil and acrylic on canvas, 48"w x 72"h
Throughout the history of painting, women have overwhelmingly been subjects of the male gaze, their construction always being a reflection of the male perspective as well as prevailing class and gender issues in society. My work uses examples of paintings of women in art history, combines them, and reconstructs them into a commanding single figure. As a female artist reinterpreting appropriated paintings of women, the aim in doing so is to present these portrayals of women as “evidence” of this gaze; to establish an awareness of their portrayal and play off the implied meaning in the original works. All appropriated images are flipped and inverted color is introduced as a mode of modern interpretation. These eclectic elements, compounded together with an interest in the layering of canvases to create a three-dimensional painting surface, all serve to address and challenge a basic issue in painting: illusionism.