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Margaret Curtis
North Carolina

Artist Statement Submitted 2020

My large-scale, narrative paintings explore everyday power relationships. My subject matter is feminist, personal, political: the body as occupied territory, autonomy won through confrontation. I create narratives that are provocative and open-ended, paintings that are visually engrossing, but jarring. I generate imagery by processing the discord created between both clashing ideas and painted marks.

I am fascinated by how the same power dynamics that work on a micro level within interpersonal relationships also work on a macro level in society. As I struggle to understand a moment defined by a mix of toxic nationalism, racism, and misogyny, I often find myself depicting anxiety. I use hyperbole and the grotesque as a means towards emotional realism.

Formally, I work out of a love for the visceral, embodied voice of the paint itself—the way its physical substance resists the imposition of subject matter while paradoxically amplifying its meaning.

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