In Illness as Metaphor, Susan Sontag suggests that, “Cancer is a rare and still scandalous subject of poetry; and it seems unimaginable to aestheticize the disease.”
Exploring and illustrating the physicality of abnormal growths and cancerous tumors, my work examines the human body from the inside out. At the peak of an uninvited infection, these diseased cells overflow, overlap, and undulate. Teetering on the body’s inability to heal itself against its own demise, the abundance of these overgrowths becomes destructive to its once healthy host.
My initial draw to the subject matter was self-serving: my father, uncle, and grandmother have all battled cancer and I desperately wanted to understand what had invaded the bodies of my loved ones. But no matter how many times I read the words that explained what cancer was, I needed to see it – to touch it – in order to understand it.
The beauty of the diseased cells struck me, as it conflicted with my torn emotions. How could something so beautiful wreak so much havoc on a once-strong body? Rainbows of bright colors mask an otherwise fleshy, organic form and works appear to be soft, squishy, repulsive and comforting… almost alien.
Cell by cell, my work explores the tipping point between mortality and its eventual submission to an uninvited disease.
expanded statement available upon request