Maria Davidoff VS MFA Thesis 2015
Reflecting Within the Frame: The Influence of a Cross-Cultural Context on Self Reflection and the Construction of Gender Identity
Utilizing mirrors for their reflective quality, my thesis paintings position the viewer within the work, by presenting them with their own reflection within a painted framework that references my own body. In my thesis mirror paintings, I paint the space around my body, creating a framework that defines the reflection of my form, leaving a negative reflective space where my own reflection once was. This negative space that references my own body, invites the viewer to position their own reflection within the frameworks of another body. Referencing the paintings of Willem de Kooning, Joan Mitchell and Cecily Brown, this thesis paper discusses how women’s experiences have been depicted through painting. The mirror in my work becomes a tool for others and myself to reflect on the experience of being within a cultural framework that has shaped and defined gender identity within a particular culture. This framework, expressed through the use of paint on a mirrored surface, sets the stage for a body to exist within and brings attention to influences within a given culture on the construction of gender identity.