Picture Day is a series of mixed-media screen prints, found objects, and performance art explores common fears related to growing up and the apprehension of what’s to come. I was inspired by picture day in grade school, in particular the societal expectations and toxic beauty standards we are exposed to at such a young age. From personal observation, on picture day, some students may play a bashful role if they’re uncapable of dressing in a certain fashion or don’t meet said toxic standards; juxtaposed with those who appear to have the privilege to present themselves in a traditional, proper image. I intentionally designed each portrait to be unsettling. My work isn’t always supposed to provoke emotions of joy or attain beauty. When discussing topics that discomfort me, I aim to provoke similar emotions with my audience. This led me to decide to purposefully reject traditional printmaking techniques required to make what’s often considered a successful print; printing registration marks, messy, overlapping stencils, and displaying editions that have notable printing errors, ultimately resulting with a flawed print. In hopes to provoke emotions of nostalgia, I experimented with flocking fibers, which gives each print a velvety texture, and light reactive ink to mimic posters from the early 2000’s.
In the performance video, I attach circuits to play-doh models connected to a sound board, creating instruments to manipulate beats and vocals using my body as a ground for the electric currents. As the video progresses, a blood-like substance begins to fall from my chest while I anxiously continue to keep up with the melody and pay little attention to the wound. I used this to express how I fear we often forget to value our bodies, forcing all of our attention on our work and physical appearance, and refuse to hold our well-being to the same level of importance; as if we only see our body as an object to serve.