6″ x 6″, oils on archival multimedia art board, 2017
Part of the “What Were You Doing When You Were Cat-Called?” series
This piece is a part of series of portraits addresses the problem of street harassment of women, and to the fact that it often happens regardless of the behavior, appearance, or activity of the woman at the time. By documenting the absurdity of the commonplace activities that were interrupted by street harassment, the series draws attention to the incredible frequency at which it happens as well as humanizes and empowers the women who have their lives interrupted by it on a regular basis.
Some of the most pervasive forms of street harassment, like telling women they’re beautiful or asking them to smile, are often assumed to be harmless. Many people don’t understand what’s wrong with giving women a compliment.
I asked for 50 volunteers to take a photo of themselves and share a story with me of what was going on in their lives during a time they experienced street harassment. Over the course of 50 days, I painted their portraits in oils using vinyl lettering to illustrate their story on the painting itself.
By giving context about women’s personal experiences, the series will draw attention to the problem of street harassment while portraying women as powerful, complex human beings.