details of the installation V
Grace Engel (PHLOX) is a visual and textile artist born and raised in the midwest. Her work centers on the body from a female perspective with a focus on themes of self-intimacy, relationship dynamics, fluid sexuality and mental health. She began imagining and painting theseries V three years ago at an artist residency in Missouri. Since then, the collection of vaginal paintings has grown and changed focus. Although the artist invites discussion and perspectives from viewers on the impact the nature this work may have on them, she hopes that this work may be appreciated and viewed with a few things in mind. First, it is the goal of the artist to create work about the body that is necessarily divorced from male gaze or desire as it has often not been, historically. Second, it acknowledges themes of self-intimacy and touch that are both sexual and not sexual in nature by vagina owners. The artist considers this to be an important dialogue in a time when masturbation and non-sexual touch by vagina owners is not prominently featured or discussed. Finally, this work is a rejection of our culture’s growing censorship and a request for viewers to continue disavowing the sexualization of the female body as an object solely of desire or shame.