ARTIST STATEMENT

I paint in the Venetian method, which employs numerous layers to achieve striking contrasts. My style enhances these contrasts by using animated characters placed in realistic and classically themed backgrounds. This is something I’ve been developing since childhood — I constantly wavered between creating animated shorts and imitating the old masters. After studying animation at Cal State Fullerton and working as a freelance animator in LA, I returned to New Mexico and began to pursue a more classical painting style. In this regard, I am a self-taught artist who is actively looking to “re-animate” characters directed at specific concepts in my work.

 

  The female characters, which I loosely base on 1920’s tube animation designs, are lewd, sexual and appear bendable and boneless. Effectively they become a new vision of the female nude; one that is no longer weak and demure, but bold and lustful. Due to their cartoonish nature, I am able to push boundaries with their blatant sexuality and carnal desires, which would otherwise translate to pornography. My re-assessed nudes not only explore brazen female sexuality, but also the representative limitations western culture places on it. These characters are nestled among realistic items reminiscent of Dutch still life paintings, resulting in a stark dichotomy between nude and environment. This polarity consequentially pushes the nude into the primary visual focus, forcing the viewer to encounter it. Like Yue Minjun, I further this bold focus with the use of saturated colors and dynamic lighting. 

 

  Within this dichotomy I often include sketchy animated characters in my work. These imps embody chaos, vice and inherent hedonism, which I chalk up to various aspects of human psyche. They exert an implicit force on the main character and, in a sense, liberate them from sexual taboos.

 

My work appears in several private collections and is part of the permanent collection at the Albuquerque Museum.

© 2020 Amanda L Banker