Stephanie Nester

That’s What She Said

Senior Project April 2013

Artist Statement

There is this constant unspoken war going on between females. Women stood by each other, fought tooth and nail to be equal to men. Now we’re fighting against each other to be the alpha female. Knowing which words or labels can get under the skin of an assumed threatening female is greater arsenal for a woman than a twenty ton tank. Women have this constant need to compete against each other. It could be work related, education related, or just simply who cleans their toilets the best. Every aspect of life is an unspoken competition between women. It’s no wonder those poor men have such a hard time trying to figure us out! Why do women put each other through this? Could it be for self-promotion? Locking down the undivided attention of a potential mate? Or are women just simply cruel and vindictive creatures? We all hate it, we all complain about it, we all lose friends over it - yet we all thrive on it.

It is my goal to visually represent just how women sabotage, undermine & abuse other women using only their words as ammunition. I see gossiping as inhibited by the use of ones mouth as a form of a weapon. I have visually interpreted this idea through paintings of firearms contrasted with a more feminine color palette to emphasize the aggressive subject matter. For example, a mother and daughter walking through the gallery. The young girl is attracted to the bright colors, the mother is concerned about the image of the gun. We’re initially distracted by so-called friends flattery and adoration that we naively overlook the bigger picture. Perhaps this could serve as a description of the changing female manipulation ideal through aging. As we age, we become more

aware of these facades others put on just to manipulate others for their own personal benefit. Gossiping will never cease to exist. The purpose of my artwork is to expose that, regardless of how females say things to or about each other, harsh or sugar-coated, we are all guilty of using our mouths as weapons.

I am a mixed media artist. I feel this is the best way to represent diversities in life. I believe if you ever settle on just mastering one process you're limiting your minds capabilities. You're no longer learning, you're working. In both large gun paintings I intentionally used a painted reflective surface to engage the viewer to think about themselves within the pieces. Bright, saturated colors with a hint of gold, gleaming femininity are expressed throughout all my pieces through acrylic, oils, and various mixed media. It was a major goal of mine to have a "gossip chair" as a piece in this showing. While gossip chairs were typically used by women to call and laugh with their friends, the layer of nails represent the aggression that these conversations sometimes led to. Bright, playful colors juxtaposed with jagged metals expresses the appearance that women put on in their daily lives even though they may be disguising ulterior motives.

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