Artist Statement

Self-portraiture has become women artists’ established form of self-representation, perhaps because it allows the artist to reflect on her identity from both positions as the subject and the object. In response to the enduring masculine tradition of objectifying the female figure in painting, I see figure painting as a way to examine how I experience the world rather than how I appear in it. In an effort to do this, I piece together the fragmented sensation of being in a body. For instance, one composition might include several sensuous memories such as petting a cat, the way a certain necklace felt in my hand, and feeling of the summer sun on my skin. I seek to offer an alternative to mainstream notions of female identity, a space between the binary of traditional masculine and feminine identities.  Across the spaces of my canvases, I create vast environments where sun-soaked female forms float amongst clouds, tufts of fur, golden stars, flowers and bubbles; a place where men can only dream of going. I intend to depict wild and isolated settings that are symbolically rich where the figure becomes even more active, as it engages in rituals of the girly, which enact remedies for her web of conflicting desires, proclivities, and rebellions. The paintings are joyful acts of disobedience about what it means to be a female right here, right now.

Erin Hinz