"Dog Lady" 2020
Oil on canvas
Dog Lady (2020) continued the ideas of Hey Babe! (2020). When I created Hey Babe, I alluded to Dog Lady, a chimera, part woman; part Alsatian who would flee from the self-absorbed, masculine deviant depicted in his bedroom. I was trying to leave some speculation for the audiences in Hey Babe! For a time, I thought, as a third-wave feminist I needed to reclaim my sexuality. However, sometimes this reclaiming is just a lie we tell ourselves to be more comfortable with the male gaze into this industry marketing version of female sexuality. Dog Lady is a confused autobiographical representation, submissive yet powerful and sexual yet other.
In On Narcissism: an introduction (1914), Freud suggested that the primary narcissism is necessary for individual consciousness, and the ego, to be 'born' and we become subjects only by means of the other's desire. The Dog Lady is a seductive, commodified object, crawling around the pond, narcissistically searching for her reflection. All that appears is her childhood self, drowned in the pool. David Hockney's Portrait of An Artist (Pool with Two Figures) (1972) influenced me at some point. Water, in the ancient Greek myth, symbolizes birth and the mother; its surface is a mirror, and its depths are the medium for symbiotic entrapment. The myth reflects the earliest confrontations for mothers and children that give rise to the emergence and maintenance of identity. Within this work, the mirroring water is the metaphor for the search for self-identity, continuing the theme of narcissism. I mistakenly fell into a self-loathing rabbit hole with these delusional characters and in the end, I gave up on this subject. I was missing something tangible that could relate to my deep-rooted emotion that left me overwhelmed.