Thursday, November 18, 2010

Gaela Erwin (75)

-from the 'eye shadow series,' pastel self portraits-

Gaela writes:

This series of self-portraits that I call my "eyeshadow series" pokes fun at my conditioned reflex to make myself beautiful with the help of a little make-up. I am surrounded by images and media that tell me aging is a sin and that I will be held in high esteem if I am young, beautiful and sexy. Since I am in my late fifties, I have lost most of my currency by those standards. Yet, I find conflict in the act of denigrating this message with the occasional guilty desire to conform by prettying up in any way possible.

In the studio, I am captivated as I work from the reflection that stares back a me from the mirror. How do I represent those furrows and lines that crisscross my forehead? Sagging skin, wrinkles that are ever-more deeply etched and a neck that now clearly display the muscles and tendons that lie beneath provide new pictorial challenges. No amount of eye shadow can create the wonder of painting skin with a history. The resulting self-portraits portray aging skin and beautiful aqua eyeshadow that gains a frightening potency with each iteration.