Our relationship to the world around us is often dictated by others’ perception of our gender. In See No Evil, I specifically dealt with the female form as iconography. Beneath the white veil, I embedded materials traditionally associated with female beauty, such as a compact. I was influenced by ancient Egyptian iconography and mummification, but used that idea to explore what it felt like to be mummified by virtue of gender in our modern world. The pressure of conforming to one’s perceived social status can often be suffocating, while at the same time maintaining beauty at all cost. This pressure anonymizes and morphs the woman into something unrecognizable to herself, yet still markedly gendered.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Debbie McCarthy is a mixed media artist who fuses her interest in abstraction with the role of gender in visual expression. McCarthy’s studies have taken her far afield, both literally and figuratively. Her early training focused on materiality and the figure. She then went on to study art history and criticism, culminating in a master’s degree in the field.
Although her work is inherently autobiographical, the play between figural and non-figural representation opens the door for the viewer to find their own way with the work. Always crossing boundaries between materials and subject matter, one constant has always been an expression of the gendered self.
An avid writer as well, McCarthy’s work has been published both in print and online. She has exhibited in the US, abroad, and virtually. Her work is held in private collections throughout the US. To learn more, please visit www.dmccarthyart.com
© Debbie McCarthy