Self-portraiture came to me by way of a painting by Chantal Joffe, a bold figure in a drippy red dress whose identity was both obscured and fighting to assert herself. I started costuming myself, bringing tensions and dualities to light in how we visually present the idea of our personality. Donning wigs and costumes reflects the assembling of the armor that gets us through the day, a projection of who we want to be, or the layers we use to hide. I create source photos using my form as the base material upon which I add and subtract layers of meaning, and then oil paintings to join the legacy of portraits staking a claim in existence. We refashion our bodies to create a story about the person inside, and the foundation of my practice is a deep engagement with the construct(ion) and performance of identity and gender. I am running full force, smashing my body into our histories and narratives to see what can transform me.
Lauren Peters - Wilmington, Delaware 2023