All rights copyright Christine Wuenschel 2020.

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Artist's Statement

Notions of the nude figure often are influenced by and filtered through cultural conventions. My artwork challenges a puritanical anxiety and fear of the body. I use the human figure in a confrontational manner to emphasize tensions between awkwardness and comfort; pleasure and discomfort. I encourage an internal dialogue with the viewer to explore and question previous experiences with the body, whether it be through historical or contemporary imagery, or with his/her own physical form. The intent is to expose repressed experiences that have influenced the often visceral and resistant reaction to nudity, touch, and assumptions about our own bodies.

 

Using myself as subject stretches my own comfort levels with my body, but I am ultimately still in control of the images presented. In reaction, I also create works that include other people, pushing comfort levels of those who are not in control of anyone or any imagery. However, even when using other models, these works remain highly personal, and I see them as stand-ins for my body. I treat them with the same scrupulous inspection as when representing myself with the ultimate goal being to create works that stretch far beyond figure studies into stimulating, sensual, powerful objects.

 

Attracted to the immediacy and permanence of the marks of drawing and painting processes, I find them to be the most direct methods I can use to depict images of the body. The monumental scale of my work informs the movement my body needs to make when creating large active marks. The skin depicted becomes part of the support on which it is drawn. Drawing acts as a recording of every mark, every mistake, and every note throughout the process; serving as a history of the work and a map of its creation.  Revealing this history hides nothing from the viewer as the physicality of the materials is heightened. This work represents the very instinctual and physical act of scraping marks across a surface, while presenting arousing and honest, bodily images surrounding the viewer.