My series of small, intimate paintings titled “Domestic Disturbance” features solitary figures set in psychologically charged spaces rendered in an altered realist style. Through self-portraiture painted in my home, I first came to consider the existential philosophy of identity and feminist analyses of domestic constructs.

Visual patterns in these works refer to interior decoration and function as a visual analogue of the domestic: just as repetition of forms is necessary to maintain the rhythm of a pattern, repetitive behaviors must be performed to maintain the home. My paintings embrace an aesthetic of clutter that serves as a sign of liberation from rigid responsibilities. They conjure conflicting feelings in their disorderly yet static compositions, sensuous yet somber color, and familiar yet alienating subject matter.

Each self-portrait embodies an identity situated between my self-perception and others’ stereotypes of me. I title each self-portrait with names and epithets that I have been called; their collective application to my every self-portrait, which synthesize many identities with their inherent possibilities for contradiction, articulates the burden of assuming roles imposed by others. Having experienced gendered ideologies that infantilize and isolate, I am alienated from the cozy portrayals of home life. 

My paintings speak to subdued longings for perfection through a dark lens of misogyny, self-deprecation, and loneliness. I reject imposed domesticity while simultaneously offering some comforts of home amenities and the juvenile daydreams of a not-so-distant world outside of the home.