Through my work, I seek to explore the feminist poetics of self, trauma, gender, shame, humor, and urgent sexuality; of figure existing within the facets of uneasy (amused and overflowing) worldspaces.
In such spaces, I am concerned with figural agency, symbolic, intimate and non-linear narrative, riddles of reclamation, the agitation of threatened tenderness, and how the self-portrait might ultimately function as surrogate to self.
Such seemingly private explorations are considered with melancholic yearning, contradictory notions of openness, and potentially anguished ha-ha-has; ultimately manifesting as bold bannered proclamations lifted from the language of drawing.
Made of funny flesh turned oozy oil paint, I am a wailing, wanting, wanton woman (one who waits for oven mitts, apologies, and openness).
For quite some time, I have had the understanding that the narrative spaces, which unfold in my paintings–murky, amused, and uneasy–take place within the squishy shifting sheathe of my vagina. Of course, this is not a literal truth–I do not invite people (life-size or otherwise), animal hooves, or oil paint inside my cunt (a word I choose purposefully, for its discipline and origin unrelated to that of the penis).
But in my painted cunt exists a menagerie of characters, hope, longing, sweetness, siege, sticky apprehension, and unearthly plights (earthly delights). Here, the unstretched canvas mirrors the bodily bunching of synching corridors–closing too tight for comfort. Learned weary wariness. Left to undulate and gasp from its four pinned corners–undefined by the rigidity (masculinity) of the frame.
Where within, exists a shifting self-portrait–a version of painted self who oozes and asks from her canvas. A woman who desires and demands softness–often met instead with indifference, misinterpretation, scorn, and even violence. So she has a cast of passing familiars–animals who breathe, snort, and snap their wings to the beat of the self-portrait’s amused agony and trying tenderness. And too, the disjointed (or otherwise) phallus joins–always changing its shape; ballooning with blood or sagging like a sock. An interrupter who is not entirely unwelcome, though certainly under the scrutiny of self–stuck to various forms in an offer of excitement. Though best of all are the smaller figures who join me in this space–men in the middle of some act of becoming; just earnest and deferential enough to share the canvas. Men, who I hope to one day present with milk–with the fingertip touch of nourishment and shared laughter at how we became so soggy together.
I am a romantic, you see.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Miranda Reichhardt is 29 years old, has red hair, and cares too much. With a contemporary painting practice focused on the feminist figurative, she received her MFA in Fine Arts from UNC-Greensboro in 2019.
Since 2016, her work has been included in multiple group exhibitions; showing nationally–exhibiting at the Weatherspoon Art Museum (Greensboro, NC), the Old Courthouse Arts Center (Woodstock, IL), and the National Humanities Center (Raleigh, NC) to name a few. In April 2019, she had her first solo show at Greensboro Project Space, titled “Wants, Palms, and Pits”. From July 2019 to January 2020, she held the position of Regional Emerging Artist in Residence at Artspace (Raleigh, NC), culminating in a solo exhibition, titled “Bedroom Banners,” in February 2021. And in July 2022, her third solo exhibition, “”Squelch”” was shown in Greensboro Project Space.
She lives (and teaches) in Greensboro, North Carolina with her Siamese cat Mustard.
© Miranda Reichhardt