Elizabeth Menges Fine Art
view larger        max size

from Breast Cancer Survivor Series 2007-2008

oil on cardboard
8.5" x 11" NFS
<< back         view
After painting detailed portraits of both my self and friends, exposing so-called ‘flaws’, I realized that if I could paint anyone, it would be a woman who has had one or both breasts removed and no reconstructive surgery—the ultimate vulnerability to explore.
The woman that I ended up painting has become an inspiration, a friend, and a mentor. Instead of dissecting the details of her body, I found myself painting the intimacy and warmth—both physical and emotional—that she imbues. It’s no longer a clinical study of scars and wrinkles, but a loose documentation of my relationship with her and the private ritual of dressing and undressing and self-examination that I have the privilege to witness. These are bedroom rituals we all participate in but somehow made more vulnerable by the cosmetic adaptations that a one-breasted woman goes through as she transitions between a private and public physical self.
I am so lucky to have met this woman and learned from her to challenged and expand myself as a painter and a woman.