I D K I S S U E 5
Sally Deskins // Artist Statement
I am an artist, writer and curator born in Oregon, raised in Nebraska, and currently living near Pittsburgh. I graduated from University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a degree in studio art-drawing, and West Virginia University with a Masters in Art History.
I’m currently working on continuing explorations with motherhood, the body and nature with a sense of humor, in a cyclical act of tribute to various women and feminist artists. With body prints in various colors alongside leaf prints, I reflect on how so many women have been lost to history and attempt to recall and remember some of them I have learned about my scripting about them on my prints over and over again. I sometimes erase the text to indicate their potential ill fate to history and the fact that my idea, honoring women artists in a work of art, is indeed, not knew, and moreover isn’t enough. Their titles include the artist names to give honor, with open-ended parentheses indicating hope. As I continue this series I am digging deeper into each artist’s history which then impacts my work more fully. For this series, the process is as important as the result. This series builds on my first series of body prints (exhibited in 2012 at The New BLK Gallery’s Les Femmes Folles: VOICE). Inspired by Yves Klein’s “Anthropometries” (1960), my body-prints alternatively take a feminist approach; I work concurrently as the artist, director and model. Too, with regards to body image, my prints are observably that of a woman (not a girl); as the curls of pubic hair are evident with swirls of paint, working against the trend of prepubescent-styled bodies in popular media. The paint-splattered style is also reminiscent of the inkblot tests used for psychological interpretation; I, similarly, challenge viewers: what do you really see?
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