These paintings are a continuation of my work based on a human tendency to collect and contain items which may cause them fear and confusion. This behavior is commonly referred to as hoarding. Organizing these kinds of things, whatever they are (stuff, ideologies, people or cultures) becomes a way to control the individual’s environment which is ever more chaotic, manage painful anxieties and enable living in denial.
In this work, like most of my attempts this century, the contents are centering on socio-political events in the U.S. from a female, baby boomer’s perspective. Globally, as well as nationally, women have always been one of the groups to be hoarded and managed by men. This form of denial allows men to continue a type of black-and-white thinking enabling them a feeling of general “superiority.” Some progress has been made by women to break out of this kind of containment, but we are often met with barriers that force us back.
It is another compulsive tendency of human behavior to put a label on everything and categorize it in writing. Text has always been a part of my mark making in two-dimensional work. Whether it is in print or handwritten script, I primarily use it as a form of repetitive line. Often the message is just barely legible and the word/s run together to create a distinct pattern, but upon close scrutiny, the letters are clear and relate to the content of piece. Sometimes collage of an actual printed piece or ephemera is necessary as a visual element. The fragility of the item, along with the very straight/uniform black-and-white line machine-made lettering, is something my hand cannot reproduce. This use of text also directly references the act of hoarding by putting part of the actual object into the piece.
My goal in producing this work is two-fold:
1. To ease and express my own life-long anxieties over experiencing these behaviors and…
2. To bring attention to their occurrences in American culture.