Self Portraits

    

A self portrait can take many shapes. We continuously create versions of ourselves in ways we are not always aware of. Sometimes our behavior can go against our logic because of powerful forces guiding us from the inside. Our words may say more than we intend to. We dance, sing, write, draw and build narratives powered by our inner structure and emotions. Every time we express a part of ourselves, we create a reflection of what we look like on the inside.

When sketching for my new body of work, I found myself wondering - Where do these shapes come from? How do I decide in which direction a line flows and when it stops? What I see inside my mind is ultimately myself. Some angles feel right and others make me feel uncomfortable because of what is important to me - continuity, openness, fluidity. Lines don't just run into each other, they have reason and intention to connect.
     
The artworks that I create are manifestations of my inner self. They can reflect fleeting memories that have made a deep impact on me. Others are complex concepts and multi facetted dreams that have developed over many years. They are versions of me, fragments of a larger picture showing itself through my art.





Lost memories


Memories go through a continual transformation, leaving many gaps in between. Details get lost, large portions of narratives disappear completely. I seem to have memories of events I was never part of. Even when I know that a memory is truly mine, it only reflects my own perspective. I don’t trust the past because it’s always changing.


24” x 30” Salvaged wood, mahogany, poplar, beech, maple veneer and oil on plywood





My mother, falling


My mother fell from the top of a 10 floor building. It was her wish. There was no explanation.



24” x 30”
Salvaged wood, mahogany, poplar, beech, maple veneer and oil on plywood





Changing shape while staying the same


My shape has shifted in many ways over the years. I am an artist. An immigrant. A partner. A parent. A dreamer. I mold to people out of empathy or dependency. Experiences and situations nudge my trajectory in a branching pattern. I try to remind myself of who I am, what my true shape is. I find ways to stay the same while changing constantly.



24” x 30”
Salvaged wood, mahogany, poplar, beech, maple veneer and oil on plywood




Birth


My mother told me I was born through a C-section. She watched me reach out of her belly and grab the doctor’s finger, before any other parts of my body were visible. I imagine the first light I saw had a horizontal shape.



24” x 30”
Salvaged wood, mahogany, poplar, beech, maple veneer and oil on plywood




Two years younger than me


I had a brother. He was 3 and I was 5 when I last saw him. I remember carrying him in my arms, from my parent’s bedroom into my dad’s studio. He was a little bundle of white cloth, a big doll to play with. My mom watched me from the end of the hallway, telling me not to drop him. I think she was smiling.



24” x 30”
Salvaged wood, mahogany, poplar, beech, maple veneer and oil on plywood




Holding on to the past


What is part of me and has been left behind, never fully detaches. There are strings tying me to how I used to be, what I used to have, who I used to know. Some people try to cut these strings, others maintain them. I have a hard time letting go of the past. It’s a source of energy, of identity, of comforting pain.



24” x 30”
Salvaged wood, mahogany, poplar, beech, maple veneer and oil on plywood




Holding life within


For a few months, there were two beating hearts in my own body. Powerful instincts came to the surface and I didn’t even realize when I started caressing my own belly. My body seemed to swell up with joy, it was a time full of life. I hold that memory dearly inside me. 


24” x 30”
Salvaged wood, mahogany, poplar, beech, maple veneer and oil on plywood




Uprooted


I left my home country when I was 21 years old. I’ve been moving further and further away from it ever since. I don’t have a strong sense of belonging. I only have a longing for places where I used to live.



24” x 30”
Salvaged wood, mahogany, poplar, beech, maple veneer and oil on plywood