Artist Info

Résumé

 

Artist Statements

My artwork navigates the complexities of female agency in contemporary culture. Whether painting, performative, or photographic, it’s concerned with the slippage between race, gender, and sexuality, and how the assignment of authorship—who has the ‘right’ to talk about what—illuminates societal power structures and personal perceptions.

From riding a motorcycle for the past thirty years to using body paint as a means of engaging racial issues and gender norms, my recent work comes out of an art practice developed over decades, one in which I lived the subject without filter and that at times has extended my studio practice beyond it’s walls.

THE IMPLICATION’S OF BARING ONE’S TEETH painting series 2018:

Le Corbusier Chaise Lounge: I’m literally cutting and pasting gender and race onto a modernist design classic by the architect Le Corbusier who defined his furniture as docile servants, “discreet and self-effacing in order to leave his master free.”

The painting is a Frankenstein with bodies and color mismatched, a being considered less than standard, or human. We rip each other apart and try to put back the pieces.

The Implication’s of Baring One’s Teeth: Facial expressions of fear and anger are social signals frequently presumed to signify threat to perceivers. Stereotypes of race are based on fear and anger.

The Wide Sargasso Sea: The name, The Wide Sargasso Sea, comes from Jean Rhy’s novel- a feminist anti-colonial response to Jane Eyre. The crazy woman in the attic literally uses the masters tools to burn down his house.

Pregnant Woman 3X: The woman in this painting and I were both very pregnant with the exact same due date  at the time. I made this piece thinking about how a woman’s pregnant body can be present but invisible and how the color of that body and it’s surroundings affect her visibility.

POETRY OF THE NON-HUMAN photos and paintings made from 1986-2018

I began my ‘performative experiments’—playing with the language of the female body—in the mid-eighties, the beginning of my serious studio practice. The photographs I took of myself and close friends began as reference studies for paintings and evolved to simply being the work itself. The use of various props and body paint play with identities- gender, race and what it is to be human.

NAKED BIKE photo series 2016-2017

Being a biker is part of my practice. Motorcycles are traditionally associated with men, sexuality, rebellion, freedom and danger. A woman riding a motorcycle is a cyborg: genderless, body-machine. My series, Naked Bike, in particular is about leaving the gender-neutral space of the motorcycle and walking into female.

UNCANNY LADY M photo series 2014

With my series of large-scale photographs titled ‘The Uncanny Lady M’, I’ve combined a science fiction landscape with a revisionist narrative for the significant, exciting leading ladies who enter a storyline only to be become the main male character’s trophy, quietly ushered off stage when no longer needed. Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth, the leading lady of ‘Macbeth’ whose gender thwarts the ferocity of her ambitions, by Act 5, she’s sleepwalking out of the story.

© Chris Blevins Morrison