The portraits in this series (and in your body of work on a larger scale) showcase “empowered female characters” as their subjects. What role does the female identity play in this series and in your practice in general?
Feminine identity and strength is a huge part of my work. In relation to the art history we are usually taught, the perspective that comes from a female artist is still a relatively new development. But in my work especially, the collaborations with my models help to reinforcing this feminine perspective. All of the models I collaborate with are creative forces of their own— artists, photographers, musicians, and muses. I'm trying to capture some of their amazing essence in these portraits, while also transforming them into larger than life or mythic figures. Playing with hidden identities is also super interesting, whether it's through organically transformed features or the protective mirrored masks some of the figures in this series are wearing.
Each painting is intricately laser-cut. What inspired this aesthetic choice?
Originally, the laser-cut edges evolved out of necessity. My deep love of Baroque and Rococo artwork always made me crave super thick and ornate frames for my paintings. But as I started shipping my work to art shows around the country, those big frames became super cumbersome. I'm constantly experimenting with any new technology I can get my hands on, so when the print studio I work with (Bellevue Fine Art Reproduction) got a laser-cutter, I knew there was an opportunity to try something new by integrating the frames into the paintings!
Over time, the laser-cut edges have become a crucial component of the pieces themselves. They're a new way to play with design and create a unique element that strengthens the physical experience of the piece. This series also features a new material, where the edges are clear and glitter when light sources are shining on them like melting ice.
Lastly, we love your portraits, and can’t wait to see what you have in store! Any upcoming projects or plans beyond Stranger Than Earth?
Thank you so much! I have some exciting future plans for later this year. In November my work will be in a four person show in Australia, which I will be also traveling to. And photographer Kindra Nikole and I are putting together a book with all the pieces we've created based on our joint Iceland trip!