Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
My work attempts to express personal experiences and external observations of the present day western female ethos. Through visual depictions of forms with mixed media, my paintings convey females exposing themselves as sexual beings yet displaced in reality, as the illusion of their character is a projection based on environment and other people. Dressed in intimate garments with different hairstyles or wigs, I reference myself and create various extensions of my persona. Through these facades I investigate aspects of womanhood dictated by a cultural paradigm. I aim to create sexually charged scenes and explore the concept of perception, the internal sense of self, and the external projection of one’s sexual identity. Lingerie and other gender specific attire are used to express inherent sexual promiscuity and vanity. They mask individuality while enabling women to assume a role, playing into a need of feeling desired. Women in a way objectify themselves in this regard as a form of empowerment. With little or no focus on physical features, emphasis is placed on the body and its gesture. As women are expected to be graceful, elegant, and alluring, I contradict this through an awkward pose or one that may reveal insecurity. A power exchange exists between the figures despite any indication of their relationship. Fixed within invented and abstracted spaces, interplay between chaos and harmony surrounds the figures. Intense and absurd colors evoke a sense of anxiety and sexual tension. I apply paint in a direct and impulsive way allowing erratic mark marking to comprise the forms, which gives the paintings an “in the moment” quality. Through painting, I question the notion of sexiness and attraction and the extent women will undergo to feel desirable. I explore the contradictions of physical appearances and the internal awareness of true self. I hope to infer substance and depth that goes beyond what is seen on the surface and signify the differences between outward and inward perception.
Document Availability at the Time of Submission
Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.
Hymel, Margaux, "Peacocking" (2012). LSU Master's Theses. 2298.