We glorify consuming food but shame our waste. “On the Toilet” shows a direct line between the oral and anal experience of food: the processes of digestion, ruminating and discerning, allow us to reap the nourishment of what we take in. The subject of the painting (my friend Victoria) sits in the safety and warmth of an imagined bathroom. She is vulnerable but she is secure and active in abundance — a juicy plum drips in her hand as basks in light of a burning match, a full roll of toilet paper, a book on the ground, a light beyond the bathroom door cracked open. When we brainstormed her pose for this portrait in January 2021, we’d been discussing the importance of shit. Her mother always said, “I worship whoever makes the toilet flush.”
“Picnic 4/12/21” is painted from photos by Bryan Ramos and me from an April afternoon in Griffith Park. I painted this scene of people I love, showing love. I’ve carried this piece with me for three weeks (so far) and I add to it as I share time with friends, documenting a day I am happy to remember and mapping a sort of community I’d be proud to build.
I painted “Flood” in September 2020. This painting first showed in “OFF/ON” curated by Dani Bonnet in the front windows of the Hollywood Palladium. It is a symbolic representation of the flood of information we take on (from entertainment, the internet, the built world, etc.) and how it affects the role we each play in the creation of reality. The figure bites down on the traffic cone, trying to slow the flow but they are washed in it; they are made of it.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Self-taught muralist, performance and mixed media artist, Alison uses house paint or acrylic on whatever is available to play with light and create a visual vocabulary to process reality. Alison experiences chronic pain from light and finds that painting provides a way to study light, channeling her sensitivity into a style of relating to her own physical experience in the world. Many of her images illustrate optimistic realism and her study of light as a force that moves our bodies.
Alison has a bachelor’s degree from the George Washington University in Political Communication and Spanish. Traveling artist, based in Los Angeles, California, USA.
© A Oksner