My Art is about women’s sexualities, erotica, but also about speaking my truth on oppressive attitudes in our society when it comes to gender discrimination. I express through my paintings and drawings, as many aspects of women as I can, be it the beauty I see in my sisters or their pain and suffering as well as the joys and power of being a woman. It’s my purpose to raise awareness to the violence done to women and all females, to wrestle the male dominated scene of erotic art from the hands of misogyny and make it into something that celebrates us. My style and technique are also immersed in what was once the quasi sole domain and privilege of men in a man’s world. I reclaim all this and turn it towards my empowerment as a woman and as a professional artist. I have made it my own through hard work and years of study and practice, the messages and statements that are in my Art are of a distinctly feminist nature, of a visual vocabulary which honors and loves all women.
As for myself, I’m a queer femme-artist who just happens to also be a woman of transsexual origin. In short, I was born with a male body, my mind ( me ) knew itself to be female and so was trapped until, as an adult, I was able to afford the surgeries that would finally bring into harmony, mind and body. Today, as a woman who has come into her own, who is more empowered, self-assured and aware, I realize how the whole of my life has brought me on a path so particular and unique as to inform and guide me as an artist.
Some years ago, inspired by “ The Vagina Monologues “ play as well as from the completion of my personal physical transition, I created a series of pieces on vaginas. They have been showcased in a few V Day art shows and events and were part of a Solo show of my Art in May of 2010. The feeling of empowerment, for me, came in a big part, from my own vagina. I have been greatly influence by many great women, some historical, others fictional and also by my sister, close friends and wonderful acquaintances.
My paintings maintain this constant in that I celebrate women, those who are empowered, those who are downtrodden, those who are invisible and those who are despised, hated, feared and oppressed, beaten and abused. I use mostly oils on canvas as a way to create my Art and communicate my feminist, lesbian and woman’s view of the amazing world of femininity, female power and sense of pride of everything women oriented and supportive.
I often find myself thinking about how I am representing women in my art, am I placing them in positions of victims or objectifying them, allowing for potential crazies to fantasize on female models in my drawings and paintings who, in some case, may seem to be inviting abuse ?
I cannot say in all honesty that I succeed in this as some on my pieces revel in the erotic representation of women and their bodies, not for the enjoyment of sick minds but because I paint what I am interested in and enjoy myself. My awareness of women and our bodies is of course quite subjective. For me, it is often a play/struggle between an aesthetic and a political sense and value. I find myself speaking on both, sometimes in the same painting.
I do not reject the technical knowledge handed down through time and mostly invented by men, no more than I do of any language I make use of in order to properly and effectively communicate with the world around me, I use it to express my personal understanding of the world from my own experiences as a woman. I do think that I impart a certain organic, feminine cognitive part of me through my art, it can be understood and felt, depending on the topic and/or subject of a given piece. My sense of what it means to be a female and a woman differs from others, my take on eroticism and how I represent human emotions and experiences are also personal even if similar in many ways to anyone else’s.
I bring with me an aesthetic very much my own, yes it is female but also born of a life in the wrong body and thus subjected to years of seeing through the world of the opposite gender and sex. My aesthetic sense, my awareness speaks to survival, to female eroticism and to the extraordinary queerness of life. I create some pieces that, in contrast to their obvious erotic content, speak of pain, and of othering, of being on the outside looking in. Being a woman of transsexual experience has permitted me to better understand oppression and prejudice, even as a woman by other women. I am conscious of myself, my sexual identity, my gender and my orientation. I am aware of communicating my hopes and fears, my joy and my anger as well as my sadness, my chaos.
If anything, my art, is a reflection of my path and I hope it has some impact, brings some pleasure and happiness but also introspection and much questioning.