Elizabeth A Johnson
Humboldt State University
My work covers a large breadth of body image commentary on social and self-acceptance. It is my belief that my work investigates the psyche of people and how they feel inadequate due to the media’s representation of ideal body image, including the social presentation of the "third gender". My goal is to promote tolerance through familiarity and exposure. By viewing controversial images and other artistic creations, it is my hope that the viewers idea of what “normal” is will develop independently and not along the clearly delineated lines that we are shoe-horned in to by societal expectations. I present my work not to create controversy, but to question the issue at hand.
My pieces are presented in a fashion that does not promote hatred, but rather evoke astonishment at the fact that people who could be seen as hated or awkward are in fact beautiful. Portraying them as beautiful lightens the mood and helps to change the viewer’s cultural view of identity, especially the idea of drag or transgendered people . My work promotes the formation of positive identity roles within our culture.
I generally stick with two different medias, photography and sculpture, occasionally stepping out of these bounds. I utilize painting; acrylics, oil, and water, and also work quite a bit with pencil and charcoal. I focus heavily on representational form, and utilize bright colors while contrasting with the use of light and shadow. The methods and media that I use might be varied, but my goal remains the same throughout. Regardless of the medium, I want my message to be consistent: that we are all people, and people are beautiful in whatever physical form they choose to express themselves in.