My artwork deals with the mentally ill and the media misrepresentation of the ill. My work represents different people; men, women, and children dealing with different mental illnesses. My content deals with the struggles faced by those living with a mental illness
as will as their recoveries stories. Living with a mental illness is not just hard for the person living with the illness but it is also hard for family and friends too. This is affects family and friends because society doesn’t always represent or treat people with severe mental illness fairly and the ill become victimized.
Through my artwork, I want to bring awareness to mental health issues because it’s a serious matter. People with severe mental illnesses are inaccurately depicted as dangerous violent people who are either named as lunatics, psychos, or crazy people. People with mental illnesses are people with disabilities who struggle day by day with their symptoms. To ignore the harmful media depiction of mental illness is to increase the suffering and confusion of our love ones when afflicted with a mental illness. In my paintings, I have recently been working on diptychs that compare stereotypes from the media with realistic representations of mentally ill people. I use the human figure, facial expressions, body behaviors, text, and media images, as well as the symptoms of moods from each disorder, combined with the psychological effect of color to depict each mood. To accomplish this, I use mediums such as clay, acrylic and oil paint. I traditionally hand built ceramic pieces. I also use traditional techniques such as wet on wet for my oil paintings.
The ill should not be discriminated against or insulted. Ultimately, societal representations, personal stories, and historical context concerning people with mental illness in America is my focus. I have been influenced by artists Jenny Saville, Francisco Goya and Vincent Van Gogh.