Although there is no official message behind my more “provocative” collages, I do receive plenty of comments (both positive and negative) about them and I certainly have a lot to say about it.
This is art. I make art. People express themselves and connect through art. So, first, I want to say- THE HUMAN BODY IS SO DAMN BEAUTIFUL; WHO WOULDN’T WANT TO MAKE ART ABOUT IT? Part of the reason these pieces get so much attention is because society doesn’t accept it (BOOBS? IN PUBLIC? WHAT?!). People aren’t used to seeing naked (or even just partially naked) bodies. Hearing common lines like “your bra strap is showing” suggest women are supposed to hide their bodies. Part of the reason I show breasts in my artwork is because it is my response to whoever says those words- to whoever is sending disparaging messages to women about their bodies. At the same time, abandon all these hidden messages and think of me as simply a girl who loves bodies and wants to incorporate them into artwork and enjoy.
2.5” Girl Power Collection Button Badge Pin
There are other elements to the pieces which make for an interesting story. I get a lot of my material from lingerie catalogues. They provide plenty of body images. (Notice how my pieces never actually show nipples or genitals because they aren’t shown in catalogues.) I know very well that ads for stores like Victoria’s Secret are EVERYWHERE. They make loads of money and no one gives a second thought to whether or not this is objectifying women, or lacking body diversity, or whatever. I could go on. No one even gives a second thought about exposed bodies. This is perfectly acceptable to most people. In fact, logos of lingerie stores are branded on sweatshirts and backpacks… and people buy them and wear them. When I use the images from the catalogues to make artwork (and wear them out on button badge pins in public), all of a sudden this is not okay. People question it. It turns negative. Why is it okay to have sexualized women on enormous billboards but my artwork is not allowed to reside on my backpack without question? That is my answer to people who find it weird. Why? Just… why?
2.5” Papaya Pussy/Tropical Fruit/Passion Fruit Original Collage Button Badge Pin
My collage- Papaya Pussy/Tropical Fruit/Passion Fruit has its own story. Other than being an eye-catching and sexy piece, I had fun making this. The body images came from a lingerie magazine. The models were wearing underwear. The torso actually came from one image and the legs were from a different image (notice the legs are not actually connected to the torso). Since there was a strangely-shaped gap in between the legs after I distorted the image, I added a papaya, which reminded me of the shape of a vagina. The papaya has lots of seeds which I saw as fertility. I also saw a connection to Georgia O’Keefe in this piece because she painted flowers inspired by vaginas. One person told me they interpreted this as “eating out”. (love it!). Anyways, this piece could be interpreted in countless ways.
I hope this answers your question. Thanks for asking!