These new massive portraits all portray women in the arts: painters, filmmakers, photographers, video artists, performance artists, stylists, fashion designers, actresses and writers.
At the time of making this series, I had been thinking a lot about women and their relationship to the size of their own bodies. The pervasive pressure, in popular culture is to lose weight; to constantly be thinking about becoming smaller than you are. This essentially equates to taking up LESS SPACE.
I am very interested in how these cultural signifier then affect us on psychological levels. In this case it can be surmised that a woman can be always be left wanting to be smaller and not take up too much space in environment or more importantly in relationship to other people.
In an art world where we are all working hard in this city to try and create and survive off of our artistic practice; we also take up less space. Only 1 in 10 women who go to art school actually make it as practicing artists and the amount of women to men shown in both galleries and museums is severely imbalanced. I often think of that thought provoking Guerrilla Girls poster campaign from the eighties. It aptly pointed out; that on average only five percent of the artists shown in our major museums are woman.
By painting these amazing artistic women in my life, in this larger than life scale, I respond to these statistics in an artistic act of defiance. I paint these women and have them take up more space. In doing so, I make these women; more important, larger than life, become giants, be monumental and in doing so increase their significance and metaphorical size within the gallery space.