Chronic Perspective focuses on the tension and trauma that I hold in my queer, trans, chronically sick, white, disabled body. This work uses photographic imagery from an iPhone that I then turn into paint-by-number canvases. These photographic paintings speak to form, medium, and constitution and unintentionally begin to explore a history in which cisgender ableist subjectivity has dominated. I push up against traditional painting techniques and hold space for these to be seen beyond the trajectory of painting but rather of that of image making.
Through taking these photographs, which due to the nature of being hospitalized and experiencing trauma, I do not remember taking, I offer a new self-narrative as I meticulously paint each image. My body becomes the subject of my own narrative, somehow objectifying my own body and point of view. My genderless body and perspective in each of these images show the disconnected nature of being hospitalized and concepts of time, loss, erasure of self, and the vulnerability that a body has within this positionality.
There is repetitiveness in recreating these images into paintings that offer a deep reflection and metaphor for how trauma affects the mind and body. Similar to the therapeutic technique of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), which is a therapy modality I have been practicing for years to deal with my CPTSD, my mind begins to remember as I paint, which begins to trace me through my own history and experiences in the hospital.
Additionally, paint-by-numbers is historically seen as a craft, and I am using this form as means to an end and a way to challenge expected artistic ideals.
These paintings become a voice for me to claim agency in my own historical experiences, regardless of my ability to remember the moments they occurred.
Acrylic on canvas