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Laura Elkins

Artist Statement Submitted 2017

My work addresses the nature of painting, the figure, and the portrait by using personal, social, and political topics as subject matter. By immersing the figure into what are often considered politically charged topics — the events and issues of our time, stories that most people know — my aim is to create a truly current and vital figural painting. My approach is not unlike Renaissance, Baroque, or Rococo painters, who used well-known mythology and Bible stories to engage their audiences and is evident in my installations and discrete paintings included in my application:

"America Selfie," inspired by several art historical interpretations of The Rape of the Sabine Women, is an in-progress, site-specific installation for the Honors College at the University of Mississippi; and "America Povera" from "The White House Collection," self-portraits as First Ladies, which addresses the often duplicitous promise of the American Dream.

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