Julie Waltz-Stalker

Neighbors (2020)
oil on canvas
8 x 10 in.

Peel (2006)
oil on plaster and cloth
30 x 20 x 20 in.

A lot of my work explores relationship—with family members, with society, with myself.

I live in a small apartment with my husband and daughter. As we work and learn from home we feel both the joy and the pressure of being together at all times. We are privileged; we are uncomfortable. Touch is abundant, unavoidable, and therefore often unwanted.

I try to manage my anxiety about all of this, but my flesh betrays me. My skin flushes, I break out in hives, my eyes and tongue swell. The surface of my body becomes a living metaphor for the feeling of being trapped by a force that I can’t control. In desperation I use touch to break free: I rub, I scratch, I draw blood. I fantasize about peeling away layers of skin.

artist’s website

© Julie Waltz-Stalker