As the Saying Goes, 2011
Flora and Fauna

Flora and Fauna

The inspiration behind this artwork comes from the proverb, “You won’t know my true value until you try someone else”.   Reflecting on the representation of women in 19th century portraiture, I appropriated and refigured the portrait of Madame Moitessier, by the painter, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres to show how women’s selves are more complex than the traditions in 19th century allowed them to be (often the opposite, as vain).  Women could be viewed as artistic but often defined through consumerism and tied to objects set in luxurious domestic interior spaces.   Women themselves were painted as objects of desire.

My interpretation of “True value” points to an inner process, pointing to the emergence of women’s consciousness (true value).  The flowering plant surrounding the figure further symbolizes this emergence.

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© 2016 by Colleen Quigley