junction (self portrait with younger son) / acrylic on canvas / 105 x 140 cm / 2023
cover (self portrait with older son) / acrylic on canvas / 105 x 140 cm / 2023
"These two paintings are part of an ongoing exploration of motherhood, which has been a reoccurring topic in my works over the past years. Considering the underrepresentation of artists who are mothers, specifically artists who are single mothers, and the misconceptions and stereotypes around it, it is a topic that I find highly relevant.
These particular works are self-portraits with my children. The two separate works represent the different relationships with each child. In all my works with children, the mother and the child do not look at each other, and while here the mother is facing the children, the children’s heads are turned another way. This can be interpreted in different ways. Primarily, it is an exploration of closeness vs. distance in the mother-child relationship in carious aspects. Amid the physical closeness and the care of the mother, it is the child’s task in life two find their own path and separate from the mother eventually. The mother will not always understand their life choices and though they came from the closest possible proximity, her own body, they can turn out to hold different values, belief systems and ways of life than the mother. It can also be seen as a reflection about the role that race plays in this relationship – as a white mom of Black children, no matter how much the effort, there will always be experiences the mother can not fully grasp, and in that regard, they stand outside each other’s world, no matter how much the mom wishes to close this gap.
Another topic that has been reoccurring in my work for the past 2 years is masculinity. As a mother of boys who has been exposed to feminism that does not mind saying ‚men are trash‘, I have known that I wanted to explore a route in feminism, that includes the tenderness of my boys, that gives them a direction of who they can be to positively contribute to the world and to a more just society. Showing this tenderness of the boys with the mom in the work is also connected to their boyhood. The means of portraying myself in a more androgynous way might signify, with holding the children all around, the all the roles a single mother needs to fill, but it is also simply a comment on the limits of heteronormativity."
below: Studies Watercolor on Paper, each 29,7 x 40 cm, 2023