(un)masked promo card, 2017
This work was part of the Arcadia University's Annual Art & Design Thesis Exhibition.
(un)masked is a term I have developed that serves as a personal reminder that the way I present myself in everyday life simultaneously reveals and conceals aspects of my identity. I know there are parts of myself that I choose to hide out of a fear of feeling embarrassed or vulnerable.
Since childhood I have experienced criticism by others concerning certain attributes of my identity, interpreted by others as feminine. I suppressed certain desires, for example the wish to experiment with applying makeup, for fear of the reaction it would create in others.
Concealments such as these have served as a barrier to my comprehension and embracing of these qualities. Through a series of physical transformations that I document with video I am trying to understand and love these characteristics, the subduing of which has continually caused me anxiety.
I am searching for a state of mind in which I am comfortable with all aspects of my identity. I am using art as a framework to revisit these buried impulses, but also an imagined past where these instincts were not burdened by the expectations of others. These works are allowing me to be the person I needed to be then and wish I was now, and to forgive myself for giving into fear and embarrassment for having subverted my own natural tendencies.