This piece was developed for International Women’s Day. The themes explored in this piece center around the word, “RAW” = authentic, real, powerful, strong, courageous, exposed, and vulnerable.
The art work explores identity and image from every angle—cultural, physical, commercial, historical, spiritual – What is a woman’s authentic self? The composition of the piece is based on a self portrait. The woman in the left is “blind-me” and the woman in the right “raw-me.” In the piece, the blind-me is wearing a white shirt and the raw-me is wearing a black shirt, symbolizing the pressure we have as women of color to emulate white female standards of beauty. The blind-me is wearing earrings and lipstick. And the raw-me is wearing nothing. Both ladies have a tattoo on their arm. The broken heart on the left epitomizes the hardship and sadness that comes with our [women’s] failed attempts to be someone we are not, to be thinner, whiter, prettier, taller… the fact is that the oppression and objectification of women can take a toll on on our self esteem. The whole heart represents the wholeness and “raw” emotion we carry within ourselves, just as we are.
In the background of the piece, you can see a pin-up calendar with the silhouette of a woman, a representation of the messages about beauty that bombard us. It is purposely set to March because it is the month of International Women’s day.