For 16 Nights I Listened Expectantly For You
acrylic on canvas
48 x 36 in.

As I was growing up I caught glimpses of high fashion in magazines, but clothes for personal expression were inaccessible to me. The possibility of self creation through such rich means and such focus on the body opened something important inside of me.

In 2000 I became gravely ill. The resulting series of surgeries left my body permanently disfigured—my back covered with scar tissue and my abdomen distended with no muscles left to support it.

These paintings provide a way for me to reach for that sense of self creation that so moved me growing up. Using pattern paper to texture the surface of the canvas, I create a mirror of the wrinkling of aged skin or scar tissue, followed by an impasto technique as I continue with layers of paint. In what feels to be both active and reflective, I also paint my body and press it directly upon the canvas in some of the paintings. ​Part of reclaiming my body is a reclaiming of my sexuality. So more ​recently, I’ve ​begun weaving in the text from love letters between women.

They are blue for a reason. What that reason is, I still don’t know.

© Ara-Lucia