“The experience of being in a body--a woman's body in particular--is full of delights and pain, and I'm really interested in that overlap.” - Sarah Slappey
Sarah Slappey’s work explores the complexities of gender, femininity and violence. With a technical practice firmly rooted in drawing, her soft, abstracted compositions of fleshy figures with rounded joints deconstruct the restrictions of perfection. Pain is accentuated in the figure from articulated mutilations such as bindings, chains and needles, yet still retains a pristine sheen from her labor intensive, technical expertise. Charged objects and details are suspected against soft backgrounds that would feel at home in a two page wallpaper sample in a Southern Living magazine.
“I spend a lot of time with my sketchbook,” says the artist. “ Drawing is the backbone of my process, and I need the freedom to explore before I commit to a composition on the canvas. After that, my process is a constant back and forth between meaty layers and delicate detailed work.”
Daisy Chain depicts arms reaching across the canvas from the corner intertwined with a glistening chain in a luminous rose gold. The mint lattice background reflects off of the pallid limbs, some pricked with a gold pin where delicate streams of blood wind and coagulate down the contorted limb. The gold button pistils leave striking shadows against the bleached white petals, gravity and light suspended against the speckled mint lattice background. The chains cross in the center, secure in a translucent green bow with a cobalt braid swinging languidly in contrast to the tension suspending it.