Beginning from a reaction to images of women produced by
the media and fashion industry, I work to investigate what it
means to construct an identity from popularized external
beauty standards. My work is broadly inspired by the history
and vanity of portrait painting, more specifically concerning
the outer image or shell built in the habitual pursuit of beauty.
In answer to damaging socially-constructed beauty standards
I work to conflate the cultural, commercial and personal through
a process of painting and collaging images into paintings and
works on paper. Influenced by celebrity crisis, celebrity obsession,
plastic surgery, and fashion imagery, I paint to convey the anxiety
of inhabiting a continually mediated self. I paint to depict the
space between desire and disappointment. Using painterly
contradictions of strength and vulnerability, attraction and
repulsion I work to create beings that are awkward but known.
Limbs distort, paint melts into skin and glances confront
in discord to suggest different states of psychic disintegration.
- Theresa Pfarr 2018