Black or White
The series of works in this exhibit present the same iconic image in two different ways
(more specifically, two different colors). I invite viewers to create and interpret meaning between the paired images which question the binaries found in Western society, and are painted in one of our most fundamental binaries – black and white. Interpretations may lead to many of the other constructed binaries, like racial binaries, that make up our society through connections of related images and ideas which spring from viewing an image.
The brain interprets images in complex and nearly simultaneous ways. Semiotics is the study of signs and sign systems and the way that the human brain can interpret them. A sign is made up of a signifier (a material aspect – a word or image) and a signified (the mental concept). Different types of signs exist, including iconic signs, in which the sign resembles the real-world object, and these are most often images.
The subject matter depicted in these paintings, such as roses, cats, etc., are not meant to reference these binaries directly, but rather to function as vehicles of meaning. They are simply objects that create different meanings in black and in white as coded by our society. These paintings rely on their scale and texture to emphasize their monumentality, adding to the complexity of their analysis.
By examining the diverging meaning that springs from differing depictions of the same subject, I call into question the enculturation, social practice, and societal reception that form diverging meanings within our society.