In my large work that started out as a prepared canvas for the commissioned portrait of a friend I took pink and red inks and smudged into the background, on the next layer I added earth-tones of brown and green to express that no matter how much you color you and your person you are still made from the earth like all other beings. I then added a loose grid by tilting the canvas and letting the dark ink run in lines. The grid is to show the strict rules that our society puts on beauty and how we color ourselves to fit in. I added black blocks to show our efforts to compare to the standard is often flawed and it is closed off by text in the bottom corner reading: “Try to be what they want fr” finishing it off it is “try and be what they want from you.” This is to show the same as the grid.
Taking this piece to the next level I have decided to compose a large series of work both on canvas and discarded objects. With the use of collage I have taken magazine clippings from Maxim magazines and Victoria Secrets catalogs I set out to ultimately destroy the image of a “fake” beauty. It is not secret that not one image is put into print without touchup work. This offers a distorted sense of what beauty is to younger generations, generations that not only feel the heat to look like this but develop all kinds of issues in the process as well as young men who grow to believe that women should look like this. You will view 20 different canvas done in the same way as the large canvas but with the with the addition of an image that has been altered both by myself and the original publisher, I took the clippings and plastered them too the canvas where I then paint over there torsos to reveal there image without clothing. This is important because the original image is produced with you imagining just that, I have removed the use of your imagination because it is useful elsewhere. When the oil paints have been applied by knife then I begin to drop more ink on the image. This acts both astekley to dirty the featured woman and as a crafting step to further bond the edges of the image to the canvas. What you are left with is the image the publisher hoped you would have in your mind when they picked the model and the specific pose, with the edition of inks left over from the cutting and pasting of the original image. I in a sense I am giving you not only the body as a nude but the ink that is not used in printing because of the alterations that took place before and after the original photo was taken.
I did 20 works on canvas that will have backgrounds and foregrounds prepared in the very same way sometimes multiples at once. This over use of repetition is to fully immerse your mind over and over to the same exact idea. Much like repetition is used in learning I have used it to force my ideas on you; the women always change, the colors barely vary only going for one set of complements to the next. It is my thought that two things will happen; one will become over sensitive to the proposed subject or one will become numb to it entirely. I am not leaving this to just canvas. I have used very similar methods in a much more direct and literal fashion as well. We are use to not only viewing images like this in print but on screens as well, be it via internet or television. These avenues are not forgotten nor are they different they all aim to delude your ideas of what is a natural look. The big undertaking is that of the mannequin, something that afforded me the opportunity to destroy the ideal image very literally. This was not and will never be a haphazard attempt to just break something and put a label of art on it. Like explained above it is one more venue to break down this image that we have all become accustomed to and never questioned. -E.Marston