The Color of Grey




Sonya Delaney's Artist Statement

I have been in constant pursuit of the "ideal" veneer. I wanted to fit in, to be accepted, and never thought about what was making me feel inadequate. Having experienced a wide array of self destructive emotions and recently a disgust directed at myself for feeling inadequate, I decided to reach out for help and discovered that I'm not alone.

Western society's embrace of capitalism expresses itself by causing one to feel inadequate. If one is inadequate capitalism provides a solution through the purchase of goods. A patriarchal society practicing capitalism creates an environment where women are valued only as sex objects. So by perpetuating this non-attainable, unrealistic image of a fat free, wrinkle free, grey free, BRAIN FREE woman they are forever guaranteed patrons and profits! Patrons such as women who know they can't possibly look that way yet still strive to do so in order to feel accepted. Women can't be fully accepted for their leadership or knowledge in a society run by men because women are viewed as mere MALE-aids. Therefore, they fall back on the only resource available to them. Patriarchal capitalism, via marketing and advertising, acts as a messenger perpetuating commercialism thus enduring this enormous problem in western society.

Dealing artistically with these issues, I strive to enable other women to relate and also cause others to have a better understanding of subjects too often ignored or misunderstood.

Many years ago I encountered a dramatic black and white drawing by an artist Kathe Kollwitz. This piece was titled Death and the Mother. After absolutely falling in love with this piece of work, I soon came to love expressionism. Another artist I have investigated is Edvard Munch and his work The Scream. Kollowitz and Munch have the ability to portray pure, raw passion and emotion through their work that I strive to emulate. Dali and Miro are two surrealist artists whose explosive use of color and psychological drama motivate my art to search for a way to reveal to the public, otherwise hidden concepts and emotions using similar colors and ideas. Jacob Porat, another artist I studied during my research, and his nontraditional portrayal of women through expressive energetic painting motivated me even further.

The work incorporates acrylic paint, forty by five feet of canvas formed to create an opened-end enveloping circle. I love to paint the human form; losing myself in my work. It allows me a physical release of many pent up thoughts, feelings, and creativity. I am also able to use my hands to manipulate and better control the images I am portraying; much like the images in magazines that are controlling me.

I feel that in order to get my point across, size and proximity is of great importance. I am interested in creating an environment where the viewer is almost overwhelmed by images representing the feelings of various women at those most desperate times. The actual process of spreading the paint across such an expansive area, gives me the freedom to create large looming figures with powerful expressions. When I work on a large scale I feel powerful both as a woman and as an artist. To empower myself and others is key as a woman and as an artist to counteract society's emphasis on the importance of men rather than focusing equally on all genders. Aesthetically, I strive to incorporate my choice of colors which are very bold and vibrant, deep and rich, and the texture of them, both smooth and rough, with the varying shapes and forms of all individual women. All types of women are valid and must be accepted by society as a whole. By portraying women and imitating them very theatrically through large painted enveloping images racked with emotion, the viewer will explore beneath the media constructed mere shell of the woman.