Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Megan Curtis: Defining Stories

Megan Curtis, Stillwater
Megan Curtis, Exodus and the Frog Prince Portrait, Watercolor, Color Pencil, 30x22  
What are your concepts and inspirations for these pieces?
Curtis: This body of work is based on two separate biblical narratives and a child's fairy tale  Genesis 19:26 (the death of Lot’s wife), Exodus 8:3 (the plague of frogs), and the fairy tale  “The Frog Prince.” I chose these stories for their trauma but also to examine the woman-inferior attitudes they reflect. We tell children stories like these to teach them morality, yet they tend to be inherently sexist, and as they are passed down from generation to generation, a woman-inferior attitude is passed down with them. Being both a feminist and a Christian, I wanted to tell these stories from the perspective of the women they portray, giving myself an ideal mechanism to express my concerns with this written tradition.

“Lot’s Wife” is based on Genesis 19:26, “But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.” This is a perfect example of a common occurrence in the bible: a woman disobeys God (a man), and is swiftly and severely punished. I wanted to paint the exact moment she realizes she is dying, as if she were being swept away by wind. I used red and blue colors to mimic veins and muscle, and greys and blacks for bits of her skin and hair flaking away.

“Exodus and the Frog Prince Portrait” is based on Exodus 8:3, “The Nile will teem with frogs. They will come up into your palace and your bedroom and onto your bed,” and the children’s fairytale, “The Frog Prince”. I chose to combine these stories into a single piece because of a striking parallel: in the original Frog Prince, a young girl must invite a frog into her bed, to sleep with her; in Exodus, frogs literally invade the beds of the Egyptians. In both stories, the most private, vulnerable, inner sanctum (the bed) is literally defiled (or raped) by frogs.
Megan Curtis, Lot's Wife, Watercolor, Color Pencil, 45x28  
Please explain the technique and/or process you used to create your Momentum works.
Curtis: Both pieces I created with a predominantly wet-on-wet watercolor technique, adding small amounts of colored pencil in some areas for fine-detail work. Additionally, inspired by Lot’s wife turning into salt in the story, I dusted the entire Lot’s Wife piece with salt during the drying process. The use of salt not only literally ties the medium to the underlying narrative, but adds a unique textural quality to the piece.

Where else can audiences see your artwork?
Curtis: My website megandawn.com.

This artwork will appear in Momentum OKC, opening March 1 & 2 at the 50 Penn Place in Oklahoma City. View, experience and purchase art by Oklahoma emerging young artists. Learn more at www.MomentumOklahoma.org.

1 comment:

Kristen said...

These pieces are beautiful and thought provoking. Congratulations Megan!