Monday, April 25, 2011

Elizabeth Menges (115)

-Self Examination-

Elizabeth writes:

My work explores the specificities of bodies, including my own, as well as the tension between examination and objectification in portraiture. As a female I have a heightened awareness of the body I was born into and its tumultuous history, from socially constructed perceptions of beauty and body image to individual battles with eating disorders, mastectomies and aging.

I am currently painting specific portraits of the women around me, eliminating all elements of narrative except for signifiers, such as jewelry, nail polish, underwear, bruises, scars, freckles and birthmarks that tell the story of the subject. How do we as women define ourselves in relation to our physical beings? It is not the exposure of so called 'flaws', but the uncomfortable confrontation of viewer and subject with a painstakingly honest image--and eventual self-acceptance--that motivates me to paint my subjects in this realistic manner.