'Karen in the Digital Age' was inspired by reflections on how women portray themselves in the selfie age of social media. Images on platforms like Facebook and Instagram are groomed and tweaked to look as perfected as possible, often creating a false standard to which other women feel they need to rise. I was interested in making the environment look packed and chaotic, as though there are many elements competing in the background of Karen's mind. In the bottom right-hand corner you can see faint stylized etchings of typical social media "selfie" poses. It's my way of understanding how images stay with us in the recesses of our brains.
Born in 1987 in the small town of Waterville, Ohio, Erin was immersed in art from a young age. Enrolling in her first art lessons at seven years old, she spent her early years learning to paint and draw copying works of the old masters and spending summers drawing from life at the Toledo Museum of Art. In 2009 she earned a B.A. in Psychology and Entrepreneurship from Miami University. Upon graduation she decided to enroll in an independent program called The Waichulis Studio and later moved to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania where she lives and works today. Her work has been featured in national publications as well as exhibitions throughout the U.S. She is represented by Dacia Gallery in New York.
Iam inspired by complex dynamics and relationships within individuals and groups. Working on copper sheet, my compositions remain anchored in representational figure painting juxtaposed by abstraction. The metal substrate and paint work in concert to communicate layers or levels of reality: one that is easily perceived and directly in front of us and one that can be felt and is dynamic or changing. To explore the connective nature of our experience, I make visual comparisons between the figure and systems in nature. I find that studying the ways in which nature is connected informs the ways I create atmosphere within and around my subjects. The ensuing work is an exploration of our relationships to one another and our fundamental connection with the environment.
This painting depicts the limitations society places on women, corrupting what truly is beautiful by placing them in these prisons of identity. By doing so, society is asking them to become superheroes. The work is an offset of American comics, synonymous to entertainment and fun. This is exactly the goal of the series - a daily struggle against that which is imposed by society and the very expectations we impose on ourselves I keep myself busy in many ways; single mom, business woman, artist, the household, romance, errands. It puts a lot on one’s shoulders. We overwork ourselves. We are all slaves to something or of something. And in comic books, despite all the playfulness of the thing itself and all the “POW BING BAM,” superheroes are also fragile. We are merely human men and women and we are entitled to the flaws and errors. Lets be proud of who we are, be fierce and strong.
Sandra Chevrier, who calls herself a “gaze collector,” creates hyperrealistic paintings of women that stare out towards the viewer. Reinterpreting the superhero mask, Chevrier covers these images with a collage of comic book prints, using scenes from Superman and Batman to conceal the faces of these idealized women. Chevrier selects sections of comic books that portray “fragile heroes,” promoting the idea that vulnerability often underlies heroism. Titled “Cages,” these mixed-media works encourage viewers to consider how the modern woman—like these superheroes—might also be surrounded by expectations of effortless perfection.
Jennybird Alcantara's minutely detailed oil paintings possess un-borrowed symbolism, drawing the viewer deeply into a world both strange and beautiful. Dreamlike narratives form the core her paintings where the complex interconnectedness of opposites appear through the prism of myth, fable and fantasy. Jennybird uses the symbolism of duality to explore the connection of life and death and the veil in between.
Born a minister's son in 1977 in Seoul Korea, Young Chun remembers as a child, living in a small attachment to a hillside church for a brief time. The weekdays spent running around with imaginary friends in the dim empty chapel has fueled his imagination, contributing to his artistic growth. The "chapel" has become a permanent fixture in his creative mind - where he constructs, develops, and stores works in progress, before they ever meet a sketchpad. In 2000, Young received his B.F.A, from the Art Center College of Design, in Pasadena California. After several years of painting without clear direction, he stumbled into the opposite end of the spectrum - into the healthcare field - to search for "substance" and "something deeper in life". The years spent working as a respiratory therapist, helping people who were faced with life and death situations, has expanded his outlook in life; adding to his artistic vision. In February of 2011, Young resumed working as a full time artist. He currently lives and works in Orange County, California.