New York Art Expo 2013
I exhibited two paintings at the New York Art Expo 2013. They are titled DESIRE and LUST.
Both artworks convey my ideas about how humans express their psychological needs and reveal their personal characteristics by the way they behave in the physical world.
DESIRE – I worked on this painting to explore my thoughts and feelings about the concept of desire. The central image is a woman’s torso that also creates a large male portrait. I did this to express my feeling that the feminine body is treated as a central object of man’s desire. I deliberately gave the body no face in order to de-humanise it, representing the way many men do not perceive woman as human beings, but only as objects. For many men, woman are a mystery; the “feminine” world is a complex and intangible phenomenon not really understood, but very desirable, creating a need for it to be owned, taken or controlled. The red faces outside the body represent a range of masculine attitudes and behaviours towards the feminine, treating it as something to be “had”. The masculine stereotype expresses a tendency to focus on an object of desire and “take” it, whereas the feminine stereotype has difficulty expressing desire or even admitting to it.
This inner tendency is played out as a social reality: in many societies women adhere to cultural norms that inhibit them from expressing their sexual desire; they are expected to arouse desire, but not to be able to feel it themselves. I made portraits in every part of the female body to represent the fact that woman (as a human being) may experience many sexual desires but these may not be accepted or freely expressed in many societies.
The final thing I wanted to say is that this painting is that it has a wider meaning. It is also about masculine and feminine aspects of personality. Masculine symbolises the outward aspects of life and feminine symbolises our inner world. I wanted to say that many people find it very difficult to get in touch with the feminine aspects of themselves. They have great difficulty recognising and expressing their emotional wants, needs and desires, not just sexually, but about anything. As a result many people are trapped in unhappy situations that they do not want, but they find it difficult to express what they do want. If people cannot get in touch with their own feelings it means they cannot channel their emotions effectively or constructively. This is a very big problem in our world today.
LUST – I created this artwork in 2009. I painted it because I was very unhappy about the way I heard many men talk about women. I made the breasts to look like something delicious to eat, to symbolise this attitude of treating women like a piece of meat; not to be treated like a human being but something to be taken, enjoyed and used. The ugly dark face with the tongue is my way of expressing unbridled lust. The yellow portraits all around the torso are meant to represent the different ways that men lust after women and do not show respect for them as people. I am concerned about cultural stereotypes in certain communities that lead half of the population to be treated in this way and to accept the conditioning that comes with the assigned role.
A deeper meaning is that it seems that humanity assigns greater value to the outward “masculine” aspects of life, but do not value in the same way the inner “feminine” aspects of our lives. Yet psychologically we crave these inner aspects and the way men express this need is to lust after females in the physical world.
Over recent years I have continued to explore this theme in a number of different works. Recently I decided to combine them in a curatorial project named ASPECTS OF WOMAN.