Edouard Manet once said, “Faire vrai; laisser dire”, which translates into, “Do what’s true; let them talk.” This is my personal mantra when it comes to my titillating artwork. The purpose of these art pieces is to show the depths of my persona…and my boudoir. How I make it my own is that I embed my experiences and thoughts into it. My sexual empowerment is the ontological nature of my artwork.
One can say that art is similar to our sexual responses. It is an intimate and passionate moment between the artist and the object. Though both are physical acts, they are also experienced visually and mentally. All sexual behavior can be reduced to being a “mental thing,” since arousal must first begin in the mind. Whether conscious of it or not, sex is happening in the mind and brain, not just the body—just like art. Over the years, I have realized that these sexual responses and creating a piece of art both require feeling, trust, letting go, and being vulnerable. You give a piece of yourself to another person and/or thing. Just like creating a new piece of art, sometimes you go at it alone, and sometimes you will join with others, whatever tickles your fancy. The poet Rainer Rilke ventures into something similar: “Artistic experience lies so incredibly close to that of sex, to its pain and its ecstasy, that the two manifestations are indeed but different forms of one and the same yearning and delight.”
When I am creating something and things are really going well, I find myself slipping into a wonderful, surging sea of release. The pure stream of expression coming out of me is so unscripted, free, and authentic that I could stay right there for hours, doing only that. I feel brilliant and strong and wonderfully alive, as if I’m just exactly what I should be. And, of course, the same is true about coitus. One might say that I am looking to achieve jouissance.
In this society, sex is seen either as a taboo or a marketing ploy, and I want to showcase that it can actually be a relatable and beautiful thing through my artwork. Even though all of our intimate experiences are unique, we empathize with them one way or another.
Because of this, I’ve been particularly influenced by Craig Owens's postmodern theory of the deconstruction of an idea or thought of society to better critically analyze modern assumptions. From there, I create work that is a visual interpretation of this critical deconstruction and begin rebuilding, to create something that is not in stasis but rather changing, evolving, and progressing for better or worse. With Owens’ theories of allegory and postmodernism in combination with a personal narrative, I attempt to visualize contemporary society as a whole and its effects on the individual. I would like to see how the individual, in turn, affects the structure of the whole, and how personal narratives add up to change and shape the overall structure. This also provides an opportunity for individual connection or interpretation of the piece.
This society that I am attracted to is Western media’s profound effect on people, particularly women, and the way that they perceive themselves, their bodies, and sex. I want to communicate with my viewers that they should not be shy about sex, art, and, most importantly, themselves. My art pieces are erotic but leave room for wonder. They can be seen as being mentally interactive in the sense that the viewer will be the one creating the salacious thoughts and fantasies, just like foreplay.