Selfie #2 (self-portrait), Riisa Gundesen, oil on canvas, 2016, 65” x 45”
Exhibition opening Sunday, July 28th, 1-3pm
This series reflects my ongoing research into the abject, the grotesque threat that lingers, just out of sight, in the peripheries – of bodies, of gender, of place. The paintings are all self-portraits, beginning as nudes and natures mortes, then losing their form in areas of high texture, colour and abstraction, becoming unsettling and grotesque. My own home, as the primary site of my experiences with anxiety, depression, and mental illness, takes on a sinister role, full of rotten food, cluttered refuse and discarded objects, while the (my) body reflects interior turmoil, displaying in paint the itching, scratching, picking habits associated with my feelings of panic or mania. Daily tasks related ideologically to femininity – cooking and tidying, applying makeup and maintaining the appearance – take on a disturbing cast, reflective of the anxieties and obsessive thinking I’ve come to associate with them.