My work examines a need for excess in the wake of restriction. After 17 years compulsively whittling down the number of foods I allowed myself to eat, last year, at age 28, I was left with just one. As my food list shrank, my paintings ballooned: domestic landscapes crowded with health books and food wrappers and children’s toys, the paint itself bloated with glitter and candy and sea glass. The resulting work is kleptic and obsessive, adorned with shiny objects like a magpie’s nest. My paintings are a meditation on disordered eating in an age of overconsumption.
For someone with an inclination toward indulgence, there’s never been more body-adjacent media to devour: nutrition blogs, wellness influencers, YouTube workout channels, diet books and anti-diet diet books, smoothie recipes with protein powder, before-and-after transformation pics, and so, so, so many photos of food. The infinite scroll goes on ad infinitum. I can’t look away. Binge, restrict, repeat.
Anxiety and confusion about the bodies we live in—what to feed them, how to move them, what they should look like—are not anomalies of our current culture, but symptoms of it. My work is an exercise in having it all.