Ivry Elisabeth is currently creating paintings and tufted tapestry works that explore gender—particularly limiting perceptions of the female identity. Within these works, she has a tendency towards the incorporation of figurative or symbolic elements and kitsch aesthetics achieved through a highly saturated pallet and eclectic mixed media application.

Studio space, 2022.

The paintings and mixed media works presented in the body of work Sex Me Up depict contrasting representations of the female experience within, and in opposition to, patriarchal limitations. They are a manifestation of frustrations towards the circumscriptions female artists face due to systematic exclusion from a male-dominated environment. As famously highlighted by the Guerrilla Girls, in order to be featured within artistic spaces as a woman you have to become not an artist but a muse—and typically a nude one. This represents a society obsessed with exploiting the female form for sexual gratification and a refusal to develop more nuanced understandings of women as more than objects, either of desire or to be disregarded. Works within Sex Me Up mock this absurd reality through symbolically portraying the lack of representation through which the female form and experience may be viewed. Cartoon-like figures in a highly saturated palette of pastels contort themselves to shapes of inhuman proportion or positioning, exemplifying the illogical nature of these spheres of existence. A contrasting understanding is found in work Would You Fuck Me? I’d Fuck Me, I’d Fuck Me Hard in which an act of self-love and intimacy exists outside patriarchal manipulation.

Artist in studio, 2022.

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Ivry Elisabeth Barker