BFA Thesis Exhibit

Lailee Josephine


Artist Statement

I aim to portray Black female American identity through an interdisciplinary fusion of collage, painting, and sculpture.  My work is an exploration of my own identity, as I endure racial tensions through the method of self-portraiture. In the compositions are narratives that subliminally represent Blackness and female emotions. This is done through illustration and adorned figures to capture and highlight Black, female emotion that traditionally have not been represented within white-washed institutions. 

Using self-portraiture, I direct the gaze towards my body and leave myself open and vulnerable to scrutiny. The rendered bodies are often unclothed and “exposed” in their environments. I juxtapose the natural materials that I collage with, with man-made objects, reinforcing each narrative and creating tension. For example, a rendered body constructed of wood, may be enveloped in a scene collaged with faux elements such as- glitter, fake plants or magazines. Without sexualizing Black bodies, I aim to highlight beauty and embrace the low and the high.  

​Faux decorative elements serve as symbols for material culture; collaged within those elements are the bodies.  Combining these elements of sculpture, collage, and painting becomes a translation for my interpretation of Black female American identity.