Andrea Weber-Harris

Capital University

I like to think that my art work is surreal, fun, and relatable. I usually jump between different materials, mediums, and concepts which adds nuance and variety to my art making practice. One idea that I find myself returning to over time is the various social approaches to beauty. As a young woman, beauty seems like an external ideal that seems unattainable. There seems to be a list of requirments in order to be considered beautiful. Societal pressures to attain to a certain body image, face structure, hair texture and the constant pressure to smile are all ways I see beauty defined and expressed. My art work looks at some of these phenomena, but explores this idea by subtracting typical expressions and manifestations of beauty. Through this erasure of defining characterisitcs of my subjects, I force the viewer to contend with what is left. The body can be expressive and beautiful despite the masking and veiling that develops through my artmaking process. For example, by obscurring some of the figures in my work by adding flowers, I replace the head and face and judgment with something that is considered beautiful, it reinvents and troubles notions of beauty. Additionally, the gesture of replacing bodily elements with flowers carries a double meaning because flowers have held symbolic value in art. By engaging with the idea of beauty and effacing it and reinterpreting beauty though my work, it encourages the viewers to look deeper and reasess their definition of beauty.

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