Alicia Dawn Criswell

lipstick, foundation, blush, eyeshadow, eyeliner, salvaged window
28 x 23.5 in.

My work is a reflection of my understanding of perception, insight, memory, and reality. I draw from my experiences working as an art therapist with individuals diagnosed with mental illness. I have been strongly influenced by my grandmother, her diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, and its impact on each member of our family. I often use a combination of found objects, conventional media, and unconventional materials such as old cosmetics to compel viewers to reexamine their previous understanding of everyday existence. The beauty products I use have the potential to disguise, enhance, and transform one’s identity. However, I manipulate the cosmetics in an attempt to depict with realism what most people seek to hide. My work alludes to the figurative and literal barriers that we impose upon ourselves, as well as the stigmas that are thrust upon us by others. I want to create a balance between provocation and curiosity, so that viewers can contemplate whether the meaning they attach to my work is influenced by their own memory or current perception. My work reveals my personal history, acting as a timeline recording the people, places and things I have encountered, forgotten, and remembered.

© Alicia Dawn Criswell