Bruised Behind The Masc

ARTIST STATEMENT

As an artist I try to visually capture the essence of contemporary society. The themes I explore through my images are those that depict the often hidden but devastating effects of modern life. My goal is to create controversial images that provoke. Through the use of bold colors, photo manipulation, and retouching techniques, I translate my vision and build the vernacular between the artist and the viewers. 

In this series I explore one of the ubiquitous social issues – domestic violence. 

When I first moved to the United States three years ago, in 2011 I was shocked by the scale and tragic social impact caused by this social problem. I was also impressed by the level of effort put into raising awareness and helping victims cope and overcome. Unfortunately, in my country these subjects are not spoken about, but are suppressed.

In this series domestic violence is shown as a facade behind which is the damage and devastation of abuse. My character is portrayed as a fragile porcelain doll concealing her bruises behind a mask of normalcy. Every morning she ‘glues’ herself together. Every evening there are more shattered pieces. This cycle repeats again and again, becoming more and more degrading with every incident. I was inspired to create my concept of domestic violence by a recent news story of the 212 pound NFL football star, Ray Rice who battered his 115 pound girlfriend and then dragged her limp body into the lobby. He received only a ‘slap on the wrist’ for this act of violence.

STATISTICS

According to NCADV (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)

  • One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
  • An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year.
  • 85% of domestic violence victims are women.
  • Historically, females have been most often victimized by someone they knew.
  • Females who are 20-24 years of age are at the greatest risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence.
  • Most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police.

According to domesticviolencestatistics.org

  • Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten.
  • Around the world, at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime. Most often, the abuser is a member of her own family.
  • Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.
  • Studies suggest that up to 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually.
  • Nearly 1 in 5 teenage girls who have been in a relationship said a boyfriend threatened violence or self-harm if presented with a breakup.
  • Everyday in the US, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends.
  • Ninety-two percent of women surveyed listed reducing domestic violence and sexual assault as their top concern.
Most domestic violence incidents are never reported.

Domestic violence is one of the most chronically underreported crimes. Only approximately one-quarter of all physical assaults, one-fifth of all rapes, and one-half of all stalkings perpetuated against females by intimate partners are reported to the police. (http://www.ncadv.org/)

CREATIVE CREDITS

I would like to recognize fantastic team that worked on this project:

  • Model: Carolyn Jernigan 
  • MUA: Lilia Budnik   
  • Special Effects Artist: Hillary Warren 
  • Hair: Cameron Lesiege