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Madonna or Whore?
Hand Cut Stencil Paintings

Borrowing street art techniques such as spray paint and hand cut and mass produced stencils, this series explores my feelings of the Madonna or whore complex which polarizes women to be either or. The gold halos on the figures and patterned backgrounds are a nod to illuminated manuscripts which I studied growing up.  Men are conditioned to want the virgin to marry but the slut to play with. This idea practically demonizes women’s sexuality and causes mental anguish for women being raised in patriarchal religions. The figures are hand cut stencils made from photographs I’ve taken of myself. The stencil makes the portraits less specific and allows me to objectify myself while exploring the conflict I feel between being desirable and “good.” The poses cater to the male gaze while the halos challenge the viewers perception of it.

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