I use visible body irregularities to explore of how the definition of flaws obscures beauty in the body. My work creates tension between the reality of an object and its projected value by removing subjects from contexts that facilitate value judgments. Abstraction of the body flaws allows the viewer to ignore social expectations of the human body.
Consider, for example, that most of us find stretch marks to be unattractive in the context of their location on the human form. However, similar markings in other locations (such as riverbeds, lightning, and animal stripes) are universally considered beautiful.
To confront value judgments that are particular to human bodies, I shift images of body markings from portraiture to apparent landscapes. The result is images of body imperfections separated visually from its usual constraining context as part of a body to allow the viewer to see its beauty.
Context especially matters in the case of illness; is it possible to consider the visible manifestation of disease beautiful without dismissing its inherent harm? Is it possible to consider the visible manifestation of disease a flaw without disrespecting the body it’s in? I seek to shed light on whether the definition of an imperfection is socially constructed, tied to context, or inherent in the imperfection itself.