REBEKAH BOGARD

Artist Statement

 

I employ fictional animals in my artwork to explore the narrative of my life and my own personal history, as they provide me with both anonymity and security to the secrets I reveal.  I enjoy utilizing animals because they are beautiful and mysterious creatures, vulnerable to relations with humans. I use this vulnerability as a source of power.

 

The narratives are purposefully ambiguous, as there are many ways to interpret a single piece. Some pieces look cute, sweet and innocent, but upon closer inspection, one realizes that the piece is conceptually more complicated. They may be read simultaneously as happy-go-lucky as well as melancholic and out of place. I blend the beautiful with the sad, fantasy with reality, idealism with truth as well as the sexual with the innocent. I decidedly leave these compelling dualities open for the viewers to draw their own conclusions. 

 

The fictional creatures juxtaposed with non-fictional animals are there to turn the world up-side-down and to leave the viewer off balance. By changing the rules of engagement, anything is possible in the world I create. Fantasies become realities and dreams become actuality.  Concrete gender roles no longer exist.

 

As a female artist, I am interested in gender and how specific gender roles are assigned to both girls and women. I exploit normative female iconography such as flowers, butterflies, and curving-sensuous lines as well as “feminine” color combinations such as pinks and purples. I embrace female sexuality, vulnerability and romance not as the stereotypical taboo, but as an empowered re-contextualization. Through these creatures, I embrace and reclaim female stereotypes, powerful messages relevant to today’s world.