Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Coloured Girls

When I was younger, an Indian-Iranian girlfriend told me, "You never paint a coloured girl." I hated to admit it but she was right.
I had my reasons. One was that most of my early works were a deliberate objectification of women and I was reluctant to use anyone other than me as a model. Another was my lack of basic skills when it came to mixing paint.
I only began painting Asian women a few years ago, after a brief lesbian fling – my first, having suppressed my bi-sexuality for too long – with a Korean girl my age. When she undressed, I couldn't help but take in the unfamiliar contrasts between her body and mine, in shape, size and skin colour.
Now I'm drawn to African women, maybe because their often large, strong, powerful bodies more closely resemble those I've always painted – which is to say, my own.
Two women, a Kenyan and an African-American, have asked to model for a few large enamel works I'm creating to benefit arts projects in East and West Africa. I'm looking forward – maybe a little too much – to trying to capture their pronounced curves and musculature, as well as the way their dark skin tones, so subtly different to each other's but also starkly different to mine, absorb light.
More than anything, I want to be able to paint them in the same way they move, as if responding to some insistent rhythm playing only in their heads.

7 comments:

Aminah K. said...

That's nice but it's African American, okay?

Hazel Dooney said...

Fixed. Thanks, Aminah.

Aminah K. said...

your welcome. {Question} does the water in Australia really drain in the opposite direction? I heard about a theory called the Coriolis theory. I was wondering if it were true?

Hazel Dooney said...

Yes

Erin Richardson said...

I like Asian women as well, but I always think of them as having small delicate bodies....has anyone mentioned lovely full lips?

Natalie said...

As a British-Caribbean woman, I'm happy to hear that you're going to be using more women of colour, particularly black women in your upcoming works. I'm looking forward to seeing them.

Natalie said...

btw just thought I'd add that I love 'The Terrorist'