I consider the performative element of my practice central to everything I currently make. The final pieces I produce are the end results of a performance- whether the process was started in my studio or in front of an audience.
The starting point for my work is my body. Inspired by David Hammons, I use myself as a “living paint brush” or as a printing tool. I sometimes work into and around the resulting body prints with writing and images from the past and present to complete pieces- which can end up being minimal or highly detailed and patterned, depending on my intention for the piece in that moment. I work instinctively.
I was inspired by Yves Klein’s 1960 Anthropometries performance, in which he selected young (white) women who would have been widely considered to have had ideal proportions and to be seen as beautiful, to be used as “living paintbrushes.” He instructed them to cover their torsos and thighs with his patented blue paint and directed them- in front of an audience- to press and roll their bodies onto the surface, making the art work and ultimately, in my opinion, creating a passive female body -which was culturally looked upon and eroticised by the male gaze.
I sought to counter that idea by using myself, giving myself agency, whilst Klein’s models were stripped of agency. When I performed at UNFOLD in October 2017, I used and directed myself (as I do in the studio), applying the paint to my whole body in private, removing the potential for eroticisation and objectification. This was my intention.
My main influences include David Hammons, Yves Klein, Judy Chicago, Ana Mendieta and Jean-Michel Basquiat. But my biggest influence has always been Frida Kahlo.