Saturday, April 21, 2012

you are beautiful... yes, you.

Last night was the opening of the You Are Beautiful exhibit at Flourish Studios in Chicago. We were handed stickers as we walked in which said you are beautiful. So everywhere you looked this message was being presented. I posted a couple of pics over on my facebook page, but I wanted to be able to include each artist's statement, and this seemed like a better format.

If you haven't been following along, the You Are Beautiful campaign seeks to fight media ideals of beauty and reinforce that we are all beautiful. Flourish Studios had a You Are Beautiful installation, created by 15 artists each making a single letter. This served as a counterpoint to Tiffany Gholar's Doll Project. It was a good project to be involved with. If you check through the YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL tags, you'll see in progress pics and lots of procrastination.

Y: You are beautiful - your wrinkles shout wisdom, your youth is your innocence, the colors of your flesh, texture of your hair, the fullness of your body, the curves that accentuate your frame, and the slender lean of your insecurity, presenting to the world - Whether broken or scarred, damaged or tethered, just the same as the wood and the buttons, the strength of your beauty is not in what the eye can see, but the spirit in which you celebrate what makes you rare, unique...simply beautiful. - Morgan Paige Brill  
O: Broken to whole themes my art, my life, and the motto of how I hope to empower others. I am constantly finding the beauty in the ordinary and unexpected and want to help others see their beauty within and all around. - Kathleen Warner

U: Mandy, a self taught artist, creates digital black and white photography collages which are sublimated onto canvas fabric. The process of sublimation turns the ink from a liquid directly into a gas when they are heat pressed on a canvas, where ink essentially becomes part of the fabric and allows the texture of the canvas to remain untouched. The sublimated strips are wrapped around the "U" shape with contrasting black fabric. - Mandy Adamick

A: The letter I created for this installation is symbolic of the essence of the project – the way media represents and affects young women.  I used a font similar to the Mad Magazine font because it supports the whole concept of the project – illustrating how maddening it is for young women to let media feed them negative messages about their bodies and their worth.  I constructed it out of cardboard because it seemed most natural and organic, but I added the lighter colored blue to the “front” of the piece to represent any alternations women do to themselves because of media-based societal pressures to seem more appealing and attractive.  The lace is an observation of the focus placed on what women chose to wear.  –Amanda Maglish Bratschie

R:This piece marks an exploration into what I am discovering as beauty. Beauty--and what makes us beautiful--are often those traits or characteristics that cause our insecurities. Beauty is coming to terms with those imperfections and embracing them. - Kaitlyn McQuaid
E: My art is about womanhood, expectation, limits. I use sewing patterns because they're so bossy - "cut two here on fold, " "shorten here, " but at the same time, when you sew, you make clothes to fit you, you are the beauty standard. Sewing patterns are my stand in for the body and society's expectations for the body. - Elaine Luther

B: My artwork explores my own collective identity, instincts, and balance, using symbols to discuss these portions of my identity, and allows viewers to see portions of my life and perspective, allowing them to reflect on their own lives and identities by comparison, and shedding light on the human experience. - Jennifer Hines       
E: Standardized notions of beauty, and the roles of women and men are insidious in our culture. We need to find ways to force a shift in perception and rip at the seams of what is expected of people. Don't be afraid to destroy your own brand every day, and to constantly redefine the beauty of you. – Melissa Hamming
A: Self-reflection and personal acceptance are the foundations of my work. Through process, errors become as necessary as original intent. Thus, the experience of creating the work is just as influential as what is initially intended. Blemishes create a visual response to the beginnings of the work and create an abstract relationship between the forms that result. - Joshua Tabbia

U: Jennifer Moore
T: If you carry one thing with you today let it be this: You are smart, You are beautiful, & you are loved. - Giselle Gatsby

I: I chose black ink specifically because I wanted a gender neutral color. The shades of grey show there is no black and white ideal of beauty. We are all unique and that should be celebrated. Stitching together the drawings reminds us that we are many things united into a whole person. Furthermore, the repetitive nature of the writings referenced a student’s forced chalkboard mantra. Writing the words and repeating them mentally became soothing in a way I did not expect; I needed to hear these words no less than everyone else. I am beautiful. You are beautiful. We are all beautiful. - Dawn Diamantopoulos

F: Art is a tool, as an extension of written and verbal language it captures for us images.  The use of textures and colors can tell stories.  I make art because I simply don’t know how not to; it is simply a part of my vocabulary.  In my work, I love to generate discussion, exploration, share narratives, and communicate efficiently where perhaps my words fall short. Courtney Lynn Coleman

U:Rozita Fogelman is a Russian contemporary artist, born in 1964 in Tbilisi, Georgia.  In 1975 she immigrated to Israel, and since 1998; she lives and works in Berkeley, CA.  Style of her work is mainly abstract expressionist, geometrical with emphasis on experimental use of unconventional painting tools and techniques.  The work’s primary focus is on energy, color with a great attention to texture and surface. - Rozita Fogelman
L: The origin of beauty, Like the origin of aLL Life, cuLture, Language and knowLedge Lies within Africa. Yet, the Media rareLy associates dark skin, wooLy/naturaL hair and fuLL features with beauty. My “L” is a chaLLenge to that ideoLogy.  -Lia Crawford

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