i’m waiting for the moment when men latch onto the selfie. suddenly, taking pictures of oneself will no longer be considered “narcissistic and vapid” and “a pathetic cry for attention” but instead, “a genius form of self promotion” and “the ultimate in diy brand building”
The summer of 2013 I enrolled in the Advanced Portfolio Projects class at SAIC to strengthen my rejuvenated artistic abilities and to challenge myself. The previous summer, I gained confidence in myself. I wanted to portray that in my artwork. This summer I was done being the bystander like in my previous work; it was time to be the subject. It was time to self-reflect after healing. I am powerful yet vulnerable and I wanted my art to mirror that. My imperfect body had always caused me pain, but I knew that I could change that. I wanted to reassure myself that big is beautiful.
For this cathartic project, I decided to make casts of different parts of my body and then use audio and installation. This project, “Big versus Small pt. I and II” is comprised of plaster body casts of the biggest parts of my body: my torso, front and back, an arm, and a thigh. To make the casts heavy, I filled them with plaster in order to represent the relation between the material and my actual weight. I finished the casts off with several layers of makeup foundation that matched my skin color, creating a fleshy appearance. These objects created heavy dents on handmade pillows made of a plush comforter I set on the floor. The second part of the installation was an audio piece called “Big versus Small” which became the title of my project. I had a magnifying glass and a peephole on dowel rods aligned with an enlarged and distorted photo of my naked back. Since the audio piece was about how “big is better”, I wanted the viewer to see the whole image in the peephole and then look through the magnifying glass to see the detail of my imperfections. This new series of work made me feel empowered rather than intimidated.