- Catherine Leone
About My First Out-of-State Gallery Accepted Piece
"Recharging" - On Display @ AIR Gallery in Glencoe, IL. March 4th, 2023-April 1st, 2023.
Let's begin with the schematics:
This piece is acrylic and ink on gesso board and measures 16" x 20". Once the painting was complete, I mounted it inside a wooden frame and sealed both sides with glittered resin and rose quartz chips. Including the frame, the final dimensions are 20" x 24".
Now the Inspiration:
I created this painting specifically for the Chicago Women's Caucus for Art's Exhibition: "Hot Pink Platter." This theme was to encompass being unapologetically yourself. Some inspiring questions asked:
How do you express your feminine identity?
When do you feel most powerful?
These questions were powerful catalysts for my creative process. I wanted to work off the title of the exhibition so I began with a pastel pink frame with gold splatters. The softness the frame attempts to surround the painting with a cushion of comfort and ease, as opposed to a loud and direct frame of a darker color. Much of my work consists of women in the style of 90s and early 2000s Japanese anime designs; I chose to bring that design to this painting to contrast the delicate frame and ideas of the show with crisp line art and a defined flow throughout.
Taking the questions into consideration, my painting looks into the idea that women are often told to "recharge" when others find them lackluster. While this can be frustrating and internalized as a need to consistently produce a happy, energetic, and put together picture, the necessity of recharging is quite real and looks different to each person. Often I find myself recharging with silence and personal space which can be interpreted through the addition of the headphones on the subject. The tattoos on her symbolize my love of body art and the power it gives me as I decorate my temple. However, it also serves as an interactive I-SPY game to the viewer. Inside these tattoos I have hidden symbols of femininity, feminine identity, nods to societal expectations, and things that make me specifically feel empowered and unapologetically myself.
So, dear reader, how do you express being unapologetically yourself?